NOT YOUR MAMA’S KITCHEN: Spaghetti squash is strange, but healthy alternative
First Posted: 7/30/2013
Weird food – that is what I’m all about. So when I heard of a squash that turns itself into spaghetti strands when cooked, I was all in.
Spaghetti squash is an oblong squash (still not sure if it’s a fruit or veggie) that can be baked, broiled, or steamed, resulting in an enormous pile of strands that resembles pasta and tastes delicious. “Practical Paleo” by Diane Sanfilippo has an awesome recipe for spaghetti squash with Bolognese sauce.
I would recommend buying a smaller squash if this is your first time – trust me, it’ll still produce a lot of “spaghetti.” Unfortunately, for my first foray into the food, I was stuck with an enormous one that fed me for about a week. The only problem with it was the amount of time it took to cut the damn thing in half length-wise.
You see, I have one good knife in my kitchen, and it’s really small, so it took about 15 minutes to half the squash. Seriously, the best way to cut this thing is probably a guillotine, if you have one – and if you do, please invite me to your next dinner party.
I found a method, finally, to plunge the knife into the middle and work it back and forth, creating a nice cut that widens as you go. Eventually, the squash will crack in half.
As a kid, I gagged every Halloween at the sight of pumpkin seeds, so please imagine my chagrin when I opened this bad boy and saw – and smelled – its likeness to a pumpkin.
Gotta get over it, though, because you need to scoop out each half, then sprinkle it with sea salt and pepper. Place them both face down on a baking sheet, then place in the oven and bake for 35 to 45 minutes.
While this is baking, you can get to work on the Bolognese sauce, which is made with a variety of meats. In a large skillet over medium-heat, melt butter and sauté onions, carrots, and celery until they become translucent. Add garlic and cook for an additional minute.
At this point, you can start the meat-palooza by adding ground veal, pork, and bacon, cooking until all is browned through.
Add coconut milk, tomato paste, and white wine, which is optional.
Simmer the mixture over medium-low heat for 20 to 30 minutes or until the sauce is well combined. Add salt and pepper to taste when done.
When the spaghetti squash is done baking, make sure it cools off to the point where you can touch it without burning your thumbs (oops). Use a fork to scoop out the flesh from the inside of the squash skin, and marvel at how easily it comes out, in nice big strands, totally tricking you into thinking it’s pasta.
Throw some Bolognese on the squash and you’ve got a tasty meal that is totally good for you.
SPAGHETTI SQUASH BOLOGNESE
Courtesy of: “Practical Paleo” by Diane Sanfillippo
Servings: 3 to 4
* 1 spaghetti squash
* Sea salt and black pepper
* 2 tablespoons of grassfed butter, or bacon fat
* 1 finely diced onion
* 1 finely diced carrot
* 1 finely diced stalk of celery
* 1 clove of finely diced or grated garlic
* 1/2 lb. ground beef or veal
* 1/2 lb. ground pork
* 4 slices of bacon, chopped
* 1/2 cup coconut milk
* 3 ounces tomato paste (one half of a small can)
* 1/2 cup dry white wine (optional)
* Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
* Slice the spaghetti squash in half lengthwise, and scoop out seeds of each. Sprinkle with sea salt and black pepper then set, face down, on a baking sheet. Bake for 35-45 minutes.
* Allow the squash to cool enough so you can handle it, then scoop the flesh out from inside each half into a large serving bowl, using a fork. Set aside until sauce is ready.
* In a large skillet over medium-high heat, melt the butter or bacon fat and sauté the onions, carrots, and celery until translucent. Add the garlic and cook for an additional minute.
* Add ground veal or beef, pork, and bacon and cook until browned through. Then add coconut milk, tomato paste, and white wine. Simmer over medium-low heat for 20 to 30 minutes or until the sauce is well combined and all the alcohol is cooked out.
* Season with salt and pepper to taste, then serve over spaghetti squash.