Flavoursome and juicy pork and fennel meatballs served atop a bed of spaghetti and low-carb zoodles
Serves 4
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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.

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