Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Spaghetti Squash with Turkey Meatballs

When I was a child, my favorite meal was baked spaghetti that my grandmother made in her very old skillet. There really was no specific recipe that she used, she just poured everything in the skillet and let it cook. Seriously, I saw her make it one night and I was shocked that it was that easy to make. Spaghetti, sauce, and ground meat. The ground meat and sauce was on the bottom with the noodles on top. One of those childhood favorites that I thought I would never be able to have again because of the gluten allergy and going low carb/low sugar. 
Thank goodness for all the gluten-free products and natural foods that are on the market right now. I have tried gluten-free pastas and really like them; but I can't eat them all the time because I don't want all the carbs. Every now and then, I will eat high carb meals; but for the most part, I want to stay on the lower side of carbs. Hence, we decided to try the spaghetti squash. 
Now, a few tips in baking said spaghetti squash: 1 Like most varieties of the squash family, except zucchini and yellow summer squash, the spaghetti squash has a very hard exterior. Thus, splitting the squash in half is somewhat of a challenge. Truthfully, I have not found an easy way to split the squash. I use the score and saw method. Score the squash with a very sharp knife and saw away.  2. The squash can be a little temperamental to bake. I sprinkle it with salt and olive oil. The trick is to bake the squash upside down on a cooling rack on top of a baking sheet. It's like it steams the squash instead of roasts it. 3. Do not over cook or under cook it. Overcooking it makes it really mushy. Under cooking the squash makes it crunchy. As I said before, squash can be temperamental. Baking it at the right temperature and for the right amount of time is essential.   
Don't let these little challenges get in the way of enjoying your squash. Once you have baked it and it comes out perfectly, all the little "hardships" of preparation will seem worth the challenge. Hope you enjoy this meal as much a we do.

Spaghetti Squash and Turkey Meatballs

1 medium spaghetti squash
Salt and Pepper to taste

1 lb ground turkey
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic
1/4 cup chopped sundried tomatoes
1/4  grated parmesan cheese
basil, oregano, thyme, parsley,rosemary
1 large can of crushed tomatoes
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1/8 cup table red wine

-->As best you can, slice the spaghetti squash in half length wise. Remove seeds. 

-->Preheat oven to 400*. Sprinkle EVOO and S&P on seeded squash, place on a foiled baking sheet, upside down. Bake for 2 hours. 

-->While the squash is baking; mix together meat, cheese, 1 clove of minced garlic, s&P, and 1/8 tsp of the herbs. In a large skillet on med-hi, heat up the EVOO and start sauteing the meatballs.

-->When the meatballs are just about done, add onions, garlic, and sun dried tomatoes.

-->Saute for 5 minutes, then add the crushed tomatoes, tomato paste and red wine. Stir and simmer until the squash has finished baking.

-->When the squash has finished baking, pull the strands out with a fork. They should be tender and easy to remove.

-->Place the meatballs and sauce over the spaghetti strands and enjoy with your favorite glass of red wine and Italian bread. Happy Eating!!