This is a weeknight meal that looks fancy but comes together with very little hands-on time!
Spaghetti squash and I used to be madly in love. I have never been a huge lover of pasta, so I was thrilled to find a lighter alternative during my weight loss days. We ate spaghetti squash all the time until….. some time in 2010 I got one that was bad. I cooked it and we didn’t notice until we sat down to dinner. The whole dish was just a little funky. Not rotten – just off. For the next few years my mind kept going back to that one squash and it didn’t seem appealing when I was meal planning or grocery shopping.
Then I bought one on a whim last year and realized how delicious normal squash is! So it returned to our menu again. This time fancied up with a super easy Bolognese. Those of you who are sticklers for definitions would probably argue that this isn’t “a slowly cooked sauce”… involving “several techniques, including sweating, sautéing and braising.” (Thanks Wikipedia.) You’re right – it’s the pretend version. So let’s carry on with a short-cut version in our minds involving beef, carrots, peppers and tomato sauce. Darn, if I’d only thought to use some red wine!
To begin, I roasted the squash (see instructions below) and used the skin as a little boat for the hearty sauce.
While the squash is roasting, chop your veggies – use in an onion if you like those kind of things
Brown your garlic, carrots and peppers in a medium stock pot over medium-low heat. Don’t let that garlic burn!
We used 85% lean grass-fed beef, but the leaner versions would be fine too. We also used some of our home-jarred tomato sauce, but store-bought is fine.
Add your meat and raise the heat a little. Brown it until it’s no longer pink. Spoon off any fat that you don’t want in your final sauce.
Add the tomato sauce…
And the Italian seasoning
And simma down. 5 minutes will do, but 20+ would be better.
Portion the sauce into the squash boats and top with parmesan cheese and fresh parsley.
The beauty of spaghetti squash is that it’s very low calorie for the amount you get to eat, but I still didn’t finish my whole boat!
Easy Spaghetti Squash Bolognese
- 1 spaghetti squash on the small side
- 1/2 lb ground beef
- 1/2 a bell pepper chopped
- 1 carrot chopped
- 1 quart tomato sauce homemade or store bought
- 1 tsp Italian seasoning
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 2 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley for garnish
- Preheat your oven to 400*.
- Carefully cut your squash in half lengthwise and remove the seeds from the center.
- In a roasting pan, put squash cut-sides down and add a little water to cover the bottom. This will help steam the squash.
- Bake for 30-45 minutes, depending on the size of your squash. You’re looking for the flesh to be fork-tender all the way through and the strands to easily separate.
- Allow squash to cool until you can touch it.
- Use a fork to scrape the strands out of the squash, making the “spaghetti.” Leave in the squash boats and set aside.
- While the squash is cooling, prepare your sauce.
- Begin by prepping your veggies.
- Add cooking oil to a medium stock pot along with garlic, peppers and carrots. Cook for 3-5 minutes, until they begin to soften.
- Add meat and brown until no longer pink.
- Spoon off any fat.
- Add tomato sauce and seasonings.
- Simmer for a few more minutes and then serve in spaghetti squash boats.
- Garnish with fresh parsley and Parmesan cheese
- Read more at https://www.katheats.com/easy-spaghetti-squash-bolognese#zBqR9EPILt5Mgp5W.99