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Spaghetti Squash with spicy meat sauce

Recipes
The Scholarly Plate

The best thing about spaghetti squash is that it takes on the texture, taste and sauce-holding abilities of regular spaghetti but with only 1/5 of the carbs. Squash also has a whole bouquet of vitamins and minerals that the pasta version does not. Most notably squash has niacin aka Vitamin B3. Niacin reduces your risk for hardening of arteries, has been shown to help reduce cholesterol and improve overall cardiovascular and heart health.

pic noodles and squash

Ingredients

  • 1 large spaghetti squash or two smaller
  • 1 ½TBSP olive oil, divided
  • 1 medium sweet onion, diced
  • 1 carrot, peeled and finely diced
  • 2 garlic gloves, minced
  • 1lb ground turkey or ground beef
  • 1TBSP tomato paste
  • 1 29-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 tsp Italian seasoning (recipe below)
  • ½ tsp crushed red pepper
  • Salt and pepper

Directions

  1. Set oven to 400ᵒF. Cut spaghetti squash in half lengthwise and scrape out seeds with a spoon.
  2. Rub ½ TBSP olive oil onto cut side of squash and season with salt and pepper. Place face down on large baking sheet and cook for 45-60min, until tender all the way through.
  3. Heat 1 TBSP olive oil in large frying pan over medium heat. Add diced onion and carrot, cook for 2 minutes.
  4. Add meat and garlic, cook until meat is completely cooked. Add salt, pepper and Italian seasoning.
  5. Add tomato paste, crushed tomatoes, crushed pepper flakes – stir well.
  6. Reduce heat and simmer for 5-10 minutes stirring occasionally.
  7. When squash is done scrape out inside with a fork. “Noodles” should form easily.

Hints: If squash is still too soupy, flip them over and continue to bake. You can also scrap noodles onto parchment paper and put back into the oven for a few extra minutes if you want them crispier, but keep a close eye on them they burn quickly!

Italian Seasoning

You can buy this separately, but it’s easy to make with spices you already have and is great on chicken or in marinades. If you’re missing any of the spices make it anyway and substitute for any other spices you would use on pasta. Combine all ingredients.

Ingredients

  • 3 TBSP dried basil
  • 3 TBSP dried oregano
  • 3 TBSP dried parsley
  • 1 TBSP garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp dried rosemary
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • ¼ tsp red pepper flakes