We eat a lot of spaghetti sauce at the Parker Compound. We make enough for leftovers at subsequent meals. Many folks with diabetes get unacceptable blood sugar spikes when they eat typical wheat-based spaghetti or other pastas. Avoid that with a spaghetti substitute called spaghetti squash (click for the recipe and nutritional analysis).
This recipe uses Truvia, a sweetener that’s a combination of stevia and erythritol. If you don’t have any, don’t fret: you have options.
Stevia is supposedly “natural.” I don’t know where erythritol, a sugar alcohol, comes from. The purpose of a sweetener is to counteract the tartness or bitterness of the tomatoes. Honey would probably serve this purpose, but I’ve never tried it in this recipe. If you use the honey or table sugar option below, it will increase the digestible carb count in each cup by three grams. Whatever your favorite non-caloric sweetener, use the equivalent of two tablespoons of table sugar (sucrose).
1 lb (454 g) sweet Italian sausage, removed from casing
3/4 lb (340 g kg) lean ground beef (lean = up to 10% fat by weight)
1/2 cup (118 ml) onion, minced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 can crushed tomatoes (28 oz or 793 g)
2 cans tomato paste (total of 12 oz or 340 g)
2 cans tomato sauce (total of 16 oz or 454 g)
1/2 cup water (118 ml)
2 tsp (10 ml) Truvia (combo of stevia and erythritol; optional substitutes are table sugar (2 tbsp or 30 ml) or honey (1.5 tbsp or 22 ml), or leave out sweetener
1.5 tsp (7.4 ml) dried basil leaves
1/2 tsp (2.5 ml) fennel seeds
1 tsp (5 ml) Italian seasoning
1/4 tbsp (3.7 ml) salt
1/4 tsp (1.2 ml) ground black pepper
4 tbsp (60 ml) fresh parsley, chopped
Put the sausage, ground beef, onion, and garlic in a pan and cook over medium heat until well browned. Drain off the excess liquid fat if that’s your preference (not mine). You’ll probably have to transfer that mix to a pot, then add all remaining ingredients and simmer on low heat for two or three hours. You may find the flavor even better tomorrow. If it gets too thick, just add water.
To avoid carbohydrate toxicity—high blood sugar—eat this over spaghetti squash rather than pasta. I’ll have a post on cooking spaghetti squash soon. Small or inactive folks may find a half cup of sauce over one cup of cooked squash is a reasonable serving (about 250 calories). I prefer to double those portions, making it a whole meal.
Sometimes I just eat this sauce straight. But I’m weird. A cup of sauce with some veggies or fruit is a meal for me. If you have other uses for spaghetti sauce other than over spaghetti squash or grain products, please share in the Comments.
Number of Servings: 9 (1-cup each)
Nutritional Analysis: (assumes you retained all fat)
21 g carbohydrate
4 g fiber
17 g digestible carbohydrate
985 mg sodium
1,117 mg potassium
Prominent features: Rich in vitamin B12, iron, copper, niacin, sodium, and selenium
4 responses to “Low-Carb Spaghetti Sauce”
I’m flabbergasted – I live in Italy (though not Italian) and often make ragu for various uses, not only for pasta, and have never yet added sugar to it other than in the form of a slug of wine. Marcella Hazan doesn’t use sugar in her meat sauce either – and when it comes to Italian recipes she knows what she’s talking about. Just cook it longer to remove any bitterness. Not that I have ever noticed any when the tomatoes are properly ripe and that’s why you use tinned ones. Though I would suggest maybe you are using too much tomato paste.
Thanks for those tips, Eileen.
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