The indulgent pasta recipe receives a transformative low-carb twist with the integration of zoodles alongside delicious pork and fennel meatballs. Cooked in the slow cooker, this dish may take a couple of hours to develop its full-bodied richness – however, only a fraction of it is active time, being preparation and plating.
- 2 tbsps extra virgin olive oil, plus extra to drizzle
- 1 large eschalot (35 g), chopped finely
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 500 g fatty minced (ground) pork
- 1 tsp fennel seeds, crushed
- ¼ cup chopped parsley
- ½ cup (50 g) packaged breadcrumbs
- 1 egg
- ¼ cup (60 ml) verjuice
- 1 fresh bay leaf
- 1 piece 5 cm parmesan rind
- 200 g spaghetti
- 2 large zucchini (300 g), cut into zoodles
- ½ cup small mint leaves
- ½ cup (40 g) grated parmesan
Heat half the oil in a small frying pan over low-medium heat; cook eschalot and garlic for 5 mins or until eschalot is soft. Transfer to a medium bowl and cool for 10 mins.
Add pork, fennel seeds, parsley, breadcrumbs and egg to bowl with eschalot and garlic, then season; mix until well combined. Shape 2 tbsps of pork mixture to make 16 meatballs.
Heat remaining oil in a large frying pan over high heat. Cook meatballs in batches, turning, for 10 mins or until browned. Transfer to a plate.
Add verjuice to pan; stir to release any bits caught on the base of the pan. Transfer liquid to a 5 litre (20 cups) slow cooker. Add bay leaf, parmesan rind, 2 cups (500 ml) water and meatballs. Cook, covered, on low for 4 hrs or high for 2 hrs.
Cook spaghetti following packet directions; reserve ½ cup (125 ml) pasta water, then drain pasta.
Remove the bay leaf and parmesan rind from the cooker and discard. Add spaghetti and zoodles; toss gently to coat. Add a little reserved pasta water if needed. Season.
To serve, divide spaghetti, zoodles and meatballs among bowls; ladle over broth. Scatter with mint leaves and sprinkle with cracked pepper and grated parmesan. Finish with a drizzle of extra olive oil.
Suitable to freeze at the end of step 4.