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Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Spaghetti Squash

I'm not sure why it took me so long to cook spaghetti squash.  I have a vague memory of my mom feeding it to us when we were little, but I went through a pretty long anti-squash phase, so I'm sure I turned my nose up at it.  In any case, roasting spaghetti squash is beyond easy, and it serves as an excellent alternative to pasta.  I can eat a huge bowl of pasta and it doesn't really keep me full for long, but the squash provides good fiber and protein with a far lower calorie count.

To roast the squash, simply prick all over with a sharp knife so steam can escape, place in a baking dish and cook in a 375 degree oven for an hour.  Allow to cool slightly so you can touch it, slice in half, and scoop out the seeds in the middle.  Use a fork to scrape the flesh of the squash into spaghetti-like strands, and serve topped with sauce. 

I made a simple tomato and meat sauce to go with our squash.  I've shared a recipe for Meaty Tomato Sauce before, and used a similar technique this time.

Tomato Meat Sauce
1/2 pound ground beef
1 small onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup red wine (the end of the bottle)
28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
1/2 can (2 oz.) tomato paste.
1/4 cup sherry
Basil (I had some pureed basil mixed with olive oil in the freezer.  Fresh or dried works as well, whatever you have around)
Salt

In a large pot, brown the ground beef.  Drain off the fat.
Add in the onion and garlic and cook for a couple minutes.
Pour in the wine. 
Stir in the crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, sherry, basil and salt.
Cover and simmer over low heat for as long as you like, at least 5-10 minutes.  I give mine at least an hour if I have the time. 

I served the squash over a bed of baby spinach, topped with sauce and asiago cheese.  Since you aren't carbing up on pasta, this means you can eat it with lots of bread for scooping up extra sauce.



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