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Spaghetti (Squash) with Sauce

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Spaghetti (Squash) with Sauce
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 1 spaghetti squash
  • 1-1/2 lbs grass-fed free-range ground beef
  • 1 can (15 oz) tomato sauce
  • 1 can (15 oz) diced or stewed tomatoes
  • 1 can (6 oz) tomato paste
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Assorted veggies as you desire –mushrooms, carrot, bell pepper, and broccoli
  • 2 tbsp generic “Italian” seasoning (or your own mix of thyme, oregano, marjoram, rosemary, and sage)
  • 1 tsp fennel seed
  • ½ tsp sea salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Split the squash lengthwise (you’ll need a sturdy knife and a good cutting board surface for this – be careful too), and scrape out all of the seeds and stringy stuff holding the seeds in. Place the two halves cut face down on a baking dish or cookie sheet and put them in the oven. Set the timer for 20 minutes.
  3. Toss the burger in a large, deep sauté pan or sauce pan, and start to brown over medium-low heat. Check every few minutes.
  4. Get all your veggies chopped up and into a prep bowl.
  5. Drain the fat off the meat.
  6. Add the veggies, the herbs, the tomato products, and the dash of salt to the meat. Stir it all up well, then reduce the heat to a simmer and put the lid back on.
  7. When the timer goes off for the squash, check it by pushing down with the back of the fork on the skin – it should yield without having to press too hard,
  8. Grab a hot-pad holder – preferably one with silicon or other “grippy” material on the palm, and grab one of the squash halves with your non-dominant hand. Scrape the fork across the inside of the squash, and notice how the individual noodles pull out and separate. If they all seem stuck together and hard to separate, then you’ve not cooked it long enough. Give it another 5 minutes and try again.
  9. Work your way along the sides and down to the skin, scraping and the noodles as you go. You should be able to get nearly all of the noodles out of the skin easily, with exception of a small area around the stem and the opposite end. Continue with the other half so you have a big bowl of pseudo-pasta.
  10. At this point, your sauce should have simmered a good 15~25 minutes.
  11. Serve just like spaghetti with red sauce.

 

Spaghetti squash. At one quarter the carbohydrate load and one fifth the calorie load compared to basic cooked pasta, this fruit (technically speaking) has the additional benefits of being gluten free, nutrient dense, and full of essential nutrients not found in it’s namesake Neolithic relative.  And, it has a flavor that is pretty much as neutral as the pasta we’re replacing with it – so even the kids really won’t notice the difference (or may even like it more).

Gather up:

  • 1 spaghetti squash
  • 1-1/2 lbs grass-fed free-range ground beef
  • 1 can (15 oz) tomato sauce
  • 1 can (15 oz) diced or stewed tomatoes
  • 1 can (6 oz) tomato paste
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • Assorted veggies as you desire – we’ve got mushrooms, a carrot, 1/2 green bell pepper, and small head of broccoli here
  • 2 tbsp generic “Italian” seasoning (or your own mix of thyme, oregano, marjoram, rosemary, and sage)
  • 1 tsp fennel seed
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Split the squash lengthwise (you’ll need a sturdy knife and a good cutting board surface for this – be careful too), and scrape out all of the seeds and stringy stuff holding the seeds in.  You’ll be able to see right away at the cut line all the individual “noodles” that make up the flesh of this squash.

Place the two halves cut face down on a baking dish or cookie sheet and put them in the oven.  Set the timer for 20 minutes.  Toss the burger in a large, deep sauté pan or sauce pan, and start to brown over medium-low heat.  Throw a lid on it and turn your attention back to the rest of the ingredients.

Get all your veggies chopped up and into a prep bowl or two.  Mince the garlic up.  Keep checking on the burger and breaking it up with a spatula while you’re chopping, so that it should be about ready at the same time you’re done chopping.  Drain the fat off the meat, if you want (if you’ve got grass-fed meat, you may consider leaving the fat in there for extra goodness).


Add the veggies, the herbs, the tomato products, and the dash of salt to the meat.  Stir it all up well, then reduce the heat to a simmer and put the lid back on.  At this point, you’ve probably got five minutes or so left on the timer on the squash.  Get started on a salad, or something else for a side dish.


When the timer goes off for the squash, check it by pushing down with the back of the fork on the skin – it should yield without having to press too hard. So, with the back of the fork, we’re looking for about medium to medium-rare on the “poke test.”  You may need to go a little longer.  If so, set the timer for another 5 minutes and recheck.  Continue until you’ve got that medium-rare feel.

Pull the pan out of the oven.  Check the sauce again, stir as needed, and cover again (this is just to let the squash cool a second).  Grab a hot-pad holder – preferably one with silicon or other “grippy” material on the palm, and grab one of the squash halves with your non-dominant hand.  You can see above that the edges that were on the pan were just starting to brown a little – another sign we were cooked just right.  Scrape the fork across the inside of the squash, and notice how the individual noodles pull out and separate.  If they all seem stuck together and hard to separate, then you’ve not cooked it long enough.  Give it another 5 minutes and try again.

Work your way along the sides and down to the skin, scraping and the noodles as you go.  You should be able to get nearly all of the noodles out of the skin easily, with exception of a small area around the stem and the opposite end.  Continue with the other half so you have a big bowl of pseudo-pasta. Then, if you hadn’t quite finished your side dish or salad before the squash was done, go back to finishing it.

At this point, your sauce should have simmered a good 15~25 minutes, and you should have something that looks a bit like this.

Serve it like you would your spaghetti with red sauce – throw some noodles on your plate, cover it in the good stuff, and fill the rest of the plate with a green salad (or whatever your side dish was).  Enjoy!