“Spaghetti” and Meat Sauce
Comfort food is an absolute necessity of life. However, is it really comforting if it makes you feel like absolute trash afterwards? Nothing is less comforting to me than feeling like the cookie monster or a beached whale after inhaling an entire pint of ice cream or a loaf of freshly baked sourdough bread (a friend did those things, not me obviously).
That’s why it’s so crucial to have a few good comfort food style recipes in your arsenal that are also good for you. Pizza, chicken fingers with honey mustard dipping sauce, and chocolate milkshakes are three of my go-to’s that I’ve written about in the past – but last week, I really wanted some straight up pasta.
Pasta is basically Satan. Very few foods make me feel more ill than a plate of straight up, white flour pasta. However, very few foods make me feel as warm inside as a plate of straight up, white flour pasta.
Enter spaghetti squash. Great invention. Whomever invented or discovered, whatever, spaghetti squash…I would like to send you a thank you note. If you’ve never made SS before, I definitely recommend trying it. It’s definitely a food that seems a little intimidating out of the gate, but once you realize how easy it is, it will surely become a staple in your kitchen the way it has in mine.
SPAGHETTI SQUASH WITH MEAT SAUCE
1 medium sized spaghetti squash
1.5lb ground beef, preferably 80/20
1/2 cup onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup water
1 26.5oz can tomato puree, no sugar added
2T tomato paste
1T dried oregano
1.5tsp seasoned salt
1T fresh basil, chopped
1/2tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
Parmesan cheese (optional)
Black Pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Slice the spaghetti squash *carefully* in half, long ways. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper for easy clean-up. Brush olive oil and oregano on top of the open faced spaghetti squash. Bake the spaghetti squash, face up, for 30-40 minutes, or until you can easily pierce it with a fork. Set aside to cool.
- Once the spaghetti squash has cooled, scrape the insides with a fork. This will make the insides fall out in noodle shape. Place into a bowl and set aside.
- In a sauté pan (or in your crockpot if it has the right setting), heat up a bit of olive oil. Add the ground beef and brown. Remove the ground beef and add it to the crockpot.
- Saute the garlic and onion together for 5-6 minutes, and then add to the crockpot.
- Add the rest of the ingredients to the crockpot, and cook on low for 4-5 hours. If you do not have a crockpot, you could put all ingredient into a large soup pot over medium low heat for 3 hours.
- Toss the meat sauce with the spaghetti squash in a large bowl, and top with additional fresh basil, a sprinkle of parmesan cheese (optional) & red pepper flakes (optional).