This courgetti ragu recipe recreates delicious Italian flavours but without all the carbs…the Holy Grail for those of us who love Italian food but can’t handle carb-heavy meals.
I’ve been making ragu for years. It was one of the first recipes I learned to cook, following in my Dad’s footsteps (who learned from his Italian mother). I’ve experimented over the years with the ingredients and think this recipe contains a good, healthy balance of different meat and vegetable flavours.
Courgetti, or zoodles for those who call a courgette a zucchini, are a healthy, low-carb alternative to spaghetti. Having grown up eating pasta regularly, it’s wonderful to now be able to enjoy eating ragu more regularly without suffering the negative side-effects of heavy carb consumption.
Courgetti Ragu Recipe
Makes enough for 6 large portions (perfect for leftovers)
2 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, crushed (or 1 tbsp frozen garlic)
4 brown onions, finely chopped
4 carrots, finely chopped
4 sticks of celery, finely chopped
1 tbsp dried basil
1kg beef mince
1 tbsp coconut sugar (or other sugar or sweetener of choice)
1 glass red wine (or water, if you’d rather avoid alcohol)
2 tins chopped tomatoes
6 courgettes/zucchinis, spiralized
Parmesan, for garnishing
Fresh basil, for garnishing
Salt and pepper, for seasoning
First up, let’s make sure our onions, carrots and celery are finely chopped. Do this with a knife or using one of the slicing appliances of a food processor.
Get a casserole dish over a hob on a low heat and, once it’s warmed up, pour in olive oil. Add the garlic for a minute or so before mixing in the onions, carrots and celery. Stir it all together and set a timer for twenty minutes.
After the twenty minutes is up, add dried basil and pancetta. Set a new timer for ten minutes. Keep stirring throughout, occasionally seasoning with salt and pepper.
Next, add the beef mince and stir thoroughly with everything else in the dish. Sprinkle in the coconut sugar and set a timer for seven minutes.
Once the seven minutes has passed, pour in a glass of red wine and stir everything together for three minutes.
Add two tins of chopped tomatoes and crank the hob up to a high heat. Once everything in the dish is boiling, bring the hob back down to a low heat and allow the dish to simmer for forty minutes, stirring occasionally.
After forty minutes, remove from the heat and allow the ragu to rest for five to ten minutes before serving.
In the meantime, we also need to prepare the courgetti. This can be done using a spiralizer or a julienne peeler. Once the courgettes have been turned into ‘spaghetti’, get a pan of boiling water and steam the courgetti for two minutes. Allow any excess water to drain before adding it to a plate.
Once the courgetti has been dished up, add the ragu and grate some Parmesan on top. Garnish with a few leaves of fresh basil and season with salt and pepper.
Ideas for Toppings and Sides
Rocket dressed in lemon juice
Baked sweet potato (instead of courgetti)
I’ve previously made this ragu using 500g of beef mince and 500g of pork mince, and that’s also great. I see no reason why it wouldn’t work with other types of meat, such as turkey mince, either. Like I always say: experiment and make it work for you.
Remember: if you do try my courgetti ragu recipe, take a picture and share it on Instagram. I’d love to check it out.
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