Still one of my favorite comfort foods, spaghetti and meat sauce, takes a much lighter and healthier turn here. This recipe will feed 8 easily and is a one pot meal.
To cook the spaghetti squash, cut the squash in half lengthwise and scrape out the seeds. Using a rimmed sheet pan, turn the squash cut side down. Add about 1 C of water to the pan and bake for 45 minutes in a 375 degree oven. Remove from the oven and turn cut side up to cool a little. As soon as you can handle it, take a fork and scrape the meat out of the shells and set aside in a bowl. I used 3/4 of the cooked squash in the recipe and refrigerated the remainder to use at a later date.
INGREDIENTS FOR THE MEAT SAUCE:
- 2 pounds 80/20 ground beef or ground turkey, browned and drained
- 1 small onion, diced
- 1 yellow or orange pepper, seeded and diced
- 2 large cloves of garlic, diced
- 8 oz. mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
- 2 cans of diced tomatoes or 2 C fresh diced tomatoes
- 1 can of tomato sauce
- 2 tbsp. tomato paste
- 2 tsp. dried oregano
- 2 tsp. dried basil
- 1/2 to 1 tsp. red pepper flakes
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- Salt & pepper to t
- OPTIONAL: 1/4 C dry wine, either red or white, but not cooking wine.
- OPTIONAL: Toss some rough chopped spinach into the sauce before adding the meat back in to add more color and vegetable variety to the sauce.
In a large sauce pan, brown the meat. Drain it and put it into a bowl and set aside.
Add 1 tbsp. olive oil to the same pan and add the onions and peppers and cook till softened. Then add the red pepper flakes and garlic and saute another minute or two.
Add the mushrooms and saute until just beginning to get browned, then add all the tomato products. Cook at a simmer for about 5 minutes until all the flavors have blended.
Add the meat back into the pan and heat through, then using tongs or a sporket, add the spaghetti squash. Blend together until the sauce and squash are well mixed. Top with grated cheese if desired. Serve and Enjoy.