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Pasta Replacement

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  • Pasta Replacement

    Like many people, I grew up eating loads of pasta and loved a big plate of noodles smothered in a rich sauce. Here is how I get my pasta fix now, via leftovers.

    First, braise a big roast. I like pork shoulder or beef chuck. Sear it all over in a hot pot with olive oil, remove it, and then throw in some veggies. Carrots, celery, onion, and saute until translucent. Throw the meat back in on top of the veggies then add a mixture of herbs, wine or beer, and some stock until the meat is about 2/3 covered. Bring the whole thing to a boil and then throw it in an oven at 325 or so and leave for at least 3 hours. It is really hard to over cook and since the meat is "low quality", cooking for a long time will break down all the connective tissue.

    When its done, remove the meat and let it rest and you will have a big pot of veggies, meat drippings and other juices (you should probably try and remove the herbs). Transfer the veg and juice into a blender and buzz it up (I also skim off some of the fat as it messes with the consistency of the sauce) and throw it in the fridge. Oh and eat the meat. It will be delicious.

    The next day, take some squash, half it and remove the seeds. Cut it up into 1/2 inch pieces and saute in oil with salt and pepper. Heat up the sauce and shred some of the left over meat. Mix it all together and there you have it. I love it, and my parents, who aren't exactly primal, love it too. I'll try and take pictures next time.

    Try it and tell me what you think!

  • #2
    Some people use spaghetti squash, or zucchini ribbons, or tofu shirataki noodles (my favorite). I also make a noodle with four beaten eggs and a tbl of coconut flour that I cook in a big skillet on slow heat, cool and nut into noodle strips. But a substitute is just that.
    This time, like all times, is a very good one, if we but know what to do with it. Ralph Waldo Emerson

    Any given day you are surrounded by 10,000 idiots.
    Lao Tsu, founder of Taoism


    • #3
      This sounds AMAZING. Not a "substitute" for pasta by any means (for me), but an incredibly delicious meal that I hope to make soon
      Last edited by jqbancroft; 06-18-2011, 10:50 AM.


      • #4
        I use spaghetti squash for spaghetti, and mandolin sliced zucchini for lasagna
        --Trish (Bork)


        • #5
          It took me a while to get used to shirataki noodles -- I was never a big pasta fanatic when I was a carbkins, though. It's a decent way to introduce friends and family to PB living, though!

          I did spaghetti squash recently and overcooked it quite a bit. That'll be another wrestling maneuver in a few weeks to try to get it right.
          Chicago Primal Blueprinter
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          • #6
            ABDada, as for spaghetti squash:
            hack that sucker in half, scoop out the seeds until it's totally smooth, put them cut side down on a cookie sheet, puncture the heck out of the skin and bake at 350 for at least 45 mins
            --Trish (Bork)
            FOOD PORN BLOG!


            • #7
              I use zucchini and eggplant, thinly sliced and just roasted in a pan. I eat my usual bolognese sauce which I already cooked before becoming primal. It's delicious!
              My blog about living primal in Germany:



              • #8
                i use a spiral slicer to cut thin ribbons of raw carrot. Or just have more meat sauce!!!
                +1 vote for spaghetti squash DROWNED in butter!!! but they are hard to find att.


                • #9
                  Spaghetti squash also works in the microwave. Cut in half, remove the seeds, and microwave cut side up for 10 minutes for one half, longer for both. I've done other squash this way, and was surprised at how well they turned out.
                  Fighting fibromyalgia and chronic myofascial pain since 2002.

                  Big Fat Fiasco

                  Our bodies crave real food. We remain hungry as long as we refuse to eat real food, no matter how much junk we stuff into our stomachs. ~J. Stanton


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by ElaineC View Post
                    Spaghetti squash also works in the microwave. Cut in half, remove the seeds, and microwave cut side up for 10 minutes for one half, longer for both. I've done other squash this way, and was surprised at how well they turned out.
                    I actually do mine in a 2-step approach... take the whole squash and pierce the skin several times with a fork, place on a plate (yes whole!) and microwave for 2-4 min (depending on how strong your microwave is, we have a tiny dorm size one). You basically just want the skin to start to soften, doesn't take long at all. This makes it much easier to cut in half (especially if you have a big one!).
                    Then I cut in half, scoop seeds out, add a little oil to my baking sheet and put squash cut side down into a 350 oven for about 30 min. Keep checking it until it's really soft. Let it cool enough to handle and then shred with fork.


                    • #11
                      I like to use those giant portobello mushrooms sliced thin and sauteed with butter and garlic. Bacon carbonara on these is heaven. But I never loved pasta, even back in the day. I always found it to be a bland sauce delivery device.
                      The more I see the less I know for sure.
                      -John Lennon


                      • #12
                        I have a julienne peeler (Oxo) - it makes spaghetti-sized strips of just about any firm veggie, and it's fast! Carrot and zuchinni work partcularly well, but eggplant, parsnips, beets and others would work too. I toss those in a wok with pancetta, shallots, thinnly sliced red pepper and a mustard-cream sauce (sometimes I add asparagus). It gets raves and raves. Bonus - it's a one dish meal when you don't have to boil noodles and it's done in less than 15 minutes including prep (of course I buy the pancetta already cubed and the shallots already chopped @ TJ's).

                        I don't really think of it as a pasta substitute anymore - it's a sauce delivery mechanism true enough, but the flavors of the dish make it its own creation. Considering how much of it I used to eat, I thought I'd miss pasta a lot more than I do (which is not at all) - veggies have so much more flavor and texture. A big bowl o' julienne'd veggies, sauce and meat do however contain that comfort food quotient that is the only part of pasta that I do miss. And they do it well. Sauces cling just as well and the veggies can absorb the flavor which makes them more effective IMO.


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Dr. Bork Bork View Post
                          I use spaghetti squash for spaghetti, and mandolin sliced zucchini for lasagna
                          I've also julienned my zucchini to sub for linguine or spaghetti.
                          I found something called cocoyam flour at a local ethnic/none big box market.
                          Cocoyam Fufu Flour
                          I slice the zucchini or eggplant about 1/4", dip in an egg/cream mix, then the cocoyam, fry in some olive oil and sub it out for my pasta in lasagna. It tastes amazing !
                          Last edited by Karate Lisa; 06-26-2011, 09:59 AM.
                          "You can always do more than you think you can !" Sensei Scash