Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Spaghetti and Meatballs, Martian-Style.

This is probably the first big meal we created on the GFCF diet.  I am actually quite proud of it, for many reasons. The main reason, however, is that my grandmother created the original and I just modified it for James' diet.  There is nothing better than having a cherished family meal retained in this restricted diet.  I know that many of you have probably been through the, "We will never eat like we used to," Blues.  This is perfectly natural and perfectly right, of course.  The truth is, there is rarely a restaurant you will get to eat at anymore, McDonald's is out, for one, and so is Pizza Hut.  However, if you can retain some of your favorite recipes, they can be modified to become a close facsimile of the original.  Trust me on this, if I can modify my recipes, you can too! So back to my Grandmother's recipe:

I prefer to use ground lamb for this recipe, however, you can use ground beef if you prefer:

Spaghetti and Meatballs, Martian-Style


1 pound of ground meat.
1 egg, slightly beaten (with a fork, just make sure the yolk is broken.)
1/2 finely chopped carrot
1/2 finely chopped red or green bell pepper
1/4 finely chopped yellow onion
1/5 cup brown rice flour or GF cornmeal
1 tablespoon of flax seed flour
2 tsp of dry basil. (however, I use fresh basil, a good bunch chopped finely.)
1/2 tsp of oregano
1/4 tsp of herbs de provence mix (dry is good)
1 tsp of finely minced garlic. (not garlic salt or powder! it is often not gluten free!)
2 tablespoons of olive oil.

Grab a large bowl and hand mix the above until well incorporated. Grab a regular spoon and scoop out medium size balls of the mixture. Roll in your hands to create a meatball shape.
Place the meatballs on your baking sheet, give at least an inch of separation between them to allow the air to circulate and cook the meatballs thoroughly.

After all the meatballs are done, place the baking sheet in a 400 degree F oven, middle rack, for 20 minutes.

While they are cooking, get your water to boiling.  I prefer Tinkyada spaghetti, the texture is great and it separates well. However, if you like, there is also De Boles, Schar, King Soba, etc.  Salt the water really well! I usually boil rice pasta 2 minutes less than they recommend. The reason is that rice pasta is soooo starchy and I prefer aldente. I don't like pasta chunks!  Drain the pasta, don't rinse! This makes it hard for sauce to adhere to the pasta.

There are also many lovely pasta sauces on the market. I prefer to make my own and get bored with a simple marinara. There lovely thing about these meatballs is that they go with a variety of sauces. I have used Lemon-butter (ghee.), Swedish (GFCF, I will provide this recipe in a later blog,) and no sauce at all!  However, for this recipe, and with spaghetti noodles, I recommend marinara. 

Eden's Organic, Amy's, Seeds of Change, etc, are all very good options. Warm your pasta on the stove, don't microwave! You lose vitamins that are heat and microwave sensitive!

Take your meatballs out of the oven, place over the pasta, cover with the sauce, and voila! You have a fast and simple weekday evening meal.

I will do a whole discussion on sauces for those of you who want the weekend version. Good luck and I hope your little martian eats it up like mine do! Cheers!

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