Spaghetti Squash Spaghetti

18 Feb

I am newly obsessed with spaghetti squash. I am not sure I will ever eat spaghetti with regular pasta noodles again. Roasting the squash can take some time, and I know sometimes people just microwave it for convenience. However, I roasted mine and it was delicious. And like a little kid, I was so excited to rake the squash with a fork and watch it become strings of pasta!

Also, on this new little health kick I am doing, I am experimenting without pastas, rice, and other starchy foods for four nights a week. I got inspired by one of my Paleo-eating friends but I am Japanese. I can’t give up shoyu and rice. And my boyfriend is Mexican – he needs rice and beans. So we are just making a few adjustments during the weekdays and then on the weekends allow ourselves to eat like normal people. I am only mentioning this so it makes sense why the heavy cream and Parmesan cheese are optional in this recipe but usually those things are pretty mandatory for me. Boyfriend and I just need to shed a few pounds before we start hitting the beach here soon!

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Ingredient List:
– Spaghetti squash
– Olive oil
– Salt and pepper

Spaghetti sauce:
– 3/4-1 lb. ground beef
– 2 cans tomato sauce
– 1 can tomato paste
– 2 large tomatoes, chopped
– 1 yellow onion, chopped
– A ridiculous amount of mushrooms, chopped
– 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
– 2 tbsps sun-dried tomatoes
– 1/3 cup heavy cream (optional if you’re doing Paleo)
– Salt and pepper
– Dried oregano, basil, and thyme
– Red pepper flakes
– Parmesan cheese (optional if you’re doing Paleo)

Directions:

1. Preheat your oven to 350. Cut your spaghetti squash in half (you’ll need a tough knife, or a tough man, for this job). Remove the seeds and then dress the squash with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Roast in your oven for 30-45 minutes until the flesh is easily raked into strings with a fork.

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2. Make your spaghetti sauce. To begin with, in a pan on medium-high heat, cook about 1/4 of the chopped onion and 1 minced garlic clove in your favorite cooking oil. Then, add your ground beef. I like to cook mine on pretty high heat so that the meat gets crispy on the outside. While it is cooking, I also like to add about 1 tbsp of sun dried tomato paste (you can use just regular tomato paste) to the meat. Once the meat is cooked, drain on a paper towels to get rid of some of the fats/oil. Set aside.

3. In a large pan, use your favorite cooking oil and cook the remaining onion and garlic. Add a dash of salt and pepper.

4. Next, add in your mushrooms. Cook until the liquid is gone.

5. Add in the tomatoes. Add salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, dried oregano, dried thyme, dried basil, and red pepper flakes. I like my spaghetti a little on the spicy side.

6. Mix in your tomato paste, tomato sauce, and the sun dried tomatoes. Stir everything together and adjust your seasonings, if needed. Now, here is the big thing – the longer this sits and simmers on your stove, the deeper the flavors will develop and the better it will taste. Let it simmer!

7. Once your squash is ready and your sauce has simmered for a good long minute, rake your squash out and serve in a pasta bowl. Add a generous portion of your spaghetti sauce and top with Parmesan cheese. Perfect!

The Boyfriend Rates It:4.0
While most of the flavor comes from the amazing spaghetti sauce, this is a great overall meal. And it is kinda fun to scape the squash after its roasted and watch it become “spaghetti.” Just make sure you don’t burn you hands. The texture of the “spaghetti” has a little more bite that your traditional pasta. It is a great alternative to regular pasta as it has less calories (28 versus 158 in traditional pasta) antioxidant rich, and is low carb (about 9g versus 31g).

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