This spaghettini is full of heart, warmth, creaminess, and is tangy enough to satisfy your pasta-loving palette. Leave the meat out if you wish, either way, you will enjoy it, I know it.
Once a week we do a pasta night.
Mainly because it’s simple to cook by nature, but also I feel it provides a lot of hearth in a meal and lends itself to many proteins. Having said that, I like to mix it up every so often, if possible.
My son typically loves the bolognese sauce or marinara but will enjoy a cream-based sauce as well. My daughter is a strict butter-based or cream sauce only type of gal. Neither care for rose sauce (don’t bother asking). And neither wants to see a variety of vegetables in it, but love meat.
Now for me…pasta serves as an opportunity to provide some extra nutrition to my can-be picky eaters.
This pasta was a hit. It covered off getting fibre from the whole wheat spaghettini I used (more on that later), and a load of fibre and vitamins from zucchini and mushrooms, and a good source of calcium from the cheese and milk added. Overall, they loved it, and I was very satisfied.
Mind you, as parents, you will inhale this too…it’s not a kid-specific meal. I don’t believe in creating separate meals for kids. Who has the time?
Why Use Spaghettini?
You can also use regular spaghetti noodles for this recipe. However, here is why I chose spaghettini.
- I always purchase whole grain or whole wheat pasta, for added fibre. This typically takes longer to cook than regular. Because spaghettini is much thinner it does cook a little faster.
- Because the noodles are thinner, I find that it is easier to cover more sauce given a smaller surface area…so it coats with a cream-base really well.
- I personally find it the right thickness for enjoying, it’s a perfect medium between spaghetti and capellini (angel-hair), it is the right about of delicate, in my opinion.
The Vegetables and Meat – Can I Change it Up?
I like to think of this as a well-balanced meal because it really touches all the components. Having said that, there really is no wrong way to make it.
You can use any type of ground meat: ground beef, ground pork, ground turkey, ground chicken, and even ground round would work great! If you don’t want, it’s perfectly fine to leave out…the sauce will provide less of the richness that comes from the juice of the meats, but there is enough tanginess from the cream sauce that will keep you satisfied.
I chose to use mushrooms and zucchini for the vegetables and although you could opt to leave out the zucchini, the mushrooms play an important role in the taste. It provides the earthiness the sauce needs.
If you want to substitute the zucchini, I think it’s best to leave out. As another vegetable would change the flavour profile by making it sweeter or less neutral.
Creamy Spaghettini with Meat and Zucchini
- Large Pot
- Medium Pan
- Bowl or Dish
- 1 pkg whole wheat spaghettini
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 5 cups water
- 1 lb ground beef any ground meat will do
- 1 tbsp olive oil can leave out if have a good non-stick pan
- 1 tbsp Italian seasoning
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tsp minced garlic
- 1/2 medium onion finely diced
- 1 cup mushrooms minced
- 1 cup zucchini mined or finely diced
- 2 tbsp creamcheese
- 1 cup pasta water reserve from the pasta step
- 1/4 cup whole milk
- 2 tbsp parmesan cheese
- 1 tbsp truffle oil optional, not neccessary but adds extra flavour
- In a large pot cook the pasta (add the salt and olive oil to the water before adding the pasta).
- Cook and drain, and reserve 1 cup of the pasta water for the sauce.
- In a medium saucepan, sautee your meat. Add the olive oil first and then the meat.
- Add all the ingredients for the meat mixture directly into the meat.
- Cook through on medium to high heat.
- Once the meat is cooked, remove the meat from the pan, and set aside.
- In the same pan you used for the meat, you will make the cream sauce. Turn the heat to medium-low, and add the olive oil.
- Once the oil is warmed, add the garlic and onion.
- Once the onion is slightly translucent add in the mushrooms and zucchini.
- As the vegetables begin to sweat, add the meat mixture in.
- Mix well.
- Add in the creamcheese, milk and pasta water and continue mixing until well-blended.
- Once the cheese has melted and not clumping, add in the pasta. Turn the heat to low.
- Mix until all the pasta is well coated and remove from the heat.
- Dust the top with parmesan cheese (and truffle oil if available).
- Cover and let stand for atleast 5 minutes before serving.
For more rice/pasta dishes, browse my recipes here.