Oddly, the gluten-filled pasta hardly appealed to me in my pre-Paleo days. If I did indulge in it, it was in all probability due to comfort food eating, rather than the foodie experience. While pasta is indeed a filling meal, with decadent fillings of rich tasting cream, cheese and meats, even these days, the temptation to have some is a non-issue.
Baby marrow or Courgettes / Zucchini, spiralised, offers a good guilt-free replacement in pasta and while many will disagree, in that it is tasteless and boring, zhoosing up “saucily” holds so much appeal and promise of a nourishing meal that tastes as good as it looks!
My early Paleo days were filled in attempts of creating sauces to blend with meals, as well as searching for the correct ingredients in canned and pureed tomato if I was making a tomato-based sauce. The homemade Marinara sauce in this recipe, created with canned and bottled tomato that contains no sugar or nasty preservatives, form the base to the creamy pasta sauce that will have you wanting more, without a doubt. I am always on about the aromatics of garlic and onions when cooking, and while a Marinara sauce is indeed tomato and garlic base, this recipe includes onion-flavoured extra-virgin olive oil which offers a well rounded taste to the cooked sauce…without the onions Ideal for the current coldish Autumn and the upcoming winter, it’s a base sauce that can be frozen in ready to serve portions for use as your meals require.
I was fortunate to get hold of really large baby marrow which I spiralised to form the noodle shape. While a sprialiser works well, straight cut noodles may be made using a Shogun Power Peeler or a vegetable peeler. An adept hand with a sharp paring knife works equally well too
The recipe below is in stages. While the Marinara sauce was cooking, I prepared my veggie noodles. The picuture below illustrates how the noodles were made.
While this recipe is primarily vegetarian, and delicious tasting on it’s own, it also serves as a pasta base for meat protein meals.
3-4 tblsp extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, sliced
1 410g can chopped tomatoes (sugar free)
500ml tomato puree (sugar free)
3 cloves garlic, minced
Black pepper and Himalayan or Sea Salt to taste
1 tblsp Italian herbs, dried or a few fresh basil leaves, chopped
- Heat the oil in a non stick pot over medium-high stove top heat
- Add the onions and saute until they are soft and translucent. Remove the onions using a slotted spoon, retaining all the oil in the pot
- Add the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil
- Reduce the stove-top heat to low and allow the sauce to simmer for about 40 minutes
- At this stage if the tomatoes have not softened and broken down completely, you may use a hand blender or carefully pour the sauce into a blender and blend until smooth. Adjust the seasoning, if required.
Creamy Pasta Sauce
1 cup Marinara sauce as above
1 cup coconut cream (the hardened topping of coconut milk), preservatives and sugar free
If you require a thicker sauce then:
1-2 tblsp of arrowroot powder or tapioca flour
To make up the Creamy Sauce and Courgette Noodles
- To a small, non-stick pot on medium stove top heat, add the marinara sauce and the coconut cream.
- Mix the ingredients well and heat until thickening – at this stage you may decide on adding the arrowroot powder or tapioca flour. If using, whisk this in well.
- Remove off the heat and add in the baby marrow / courgette / zucchini noodles to the sauce.
- Return to the stove and lightly boil the veggie noodles in the sauce until the noodles are cooked through. This should take a maximum of 4 minutes.
- Serve as desired, and adjust seasoning if required.