As much as I love eating pasta, it’s not something that digests well in my body so it’s something I only allow myself to have a few times a year. A healthy substitute can be made in the form of spaghetti squash, which is much easier on my digestive system, and while the texture and bite isn’t really close to actual spaghetti, it’s still quite good.
I learned this past year that roma tomatoes are the least tasty tomatoes to eat raw, but also the best ones to choose when making a tomato sauce. By giving them some time to simmer in along with whatever other flavors I choose to use, I’m able to create a rich and flavorful sauce to go on top of my spaghetti squash (or pasta, if that’s what I end up doing that day). I like to play with different fresh herbs in my sauces, and on this day I had a lot of fresh thyme available to me, so that’s what I ended up using. Oregano, basil, and rosemary would all tie in nicely as well, as would dried bay leaves if you have any of those laying around.
Spaghetti Squash and Meat Sauce Recipe
1 medium to large spaghetti squash (2-3 pounds)
1 pound of ground beef, pork, or bison (or a combination of those)
1 large onion, diced
2 jalapeños, sliced
1 pound of roma tomatoes, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 big pinch of fresh thyme
1 big pinch of paprika
1 big pinch of red pepper flakes
1/4 cup of red wine
sea salt and pepper
For the spaghetti squash: Puncture the squash all over with a sharp knife, then set the squash in the oven on a roasting tray at 375 degrees for an hour. Once the squash is done, take it out and cut it in half, then carefully scrape the seeds out of the middle. What’s left is the flesh inside, which you can carve out with a fork to pile up what looks like spaghetti strands.
For the meat sauce: In a pot or dutch oven, heat some butter over medium heat, then brown the ground meat for a few minutes until cooked through, all while breaking it into small pieces. Once the meat is finished cooking, remove it and set it aside.
Put the pot back on the stove, and begin to sauté all your veggies, herbs, and spices together. After 5-6 minutes, the tomatoes and onions should be cooked down a good amount, and you can add your meat back in and stir everything together. Add your red wine, along with some salt and pepper, then turn the heat up until the pot begins to boil, and once that happens turn it back down to a simmer and cover with a lid. Let the sauce simmer for a couple of hours, stirring occasionally.
When the sauce has cooked for a good while and the squash is ready to be eaten, combine the two, add more salt and pepper if you like, then serve.