Meatballs and “Spaghetti”

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Courtesy to http://www.womansday.com/recipefinder/turkey-meatballs-spaghetti-squash-recipe-122850

Spaghetti squash doesn’t seem to be a frequent consumed vegetable where I live. I’ve been making inquiries about it and am awaiting a response.  Spaghetti squash is a low carb healthier alternative to using spaghetti. Spaghetti and Meatballs is one of my favorite meat dinners. I tend to use whole wheat spaghetti. My mother would serve this with meatballs or to go along with other vegetarian dishes. When scraped out with a fork, cooked spaghetti squash transforms into noodle-like strands, complete with a textured bite and lots of fiber and vitamins. Its a great way to satisfy pasta cravings. Authentic Italian meatballs are made with ground beef and Parmesan cheese, but because of our dietary restrictions, we are forbidden from mixing meat with milk. However, if you wish to take the vegetarian route and use  ground soy meat instead, you have the ability to throw in some skim Parmesan cheese. I’m going to be using ground turkey but you can use ground chicken or ground bison meat which is just as lean.

You will need:

  1. 2  small  spaghetti squash halved seeds removed
  2. 2 lbs of lean ground turkey or bison meat
  3. 5 cups   of Marinara sauce divided
  4. 2 gloves of garlic chopped
  5. 1 large onion chopped
  6. 1 large egg white
  7.  1/4 cup of seltzer
  8. 4 tablespoons of  whole-wheat bread crumbs
  9. 1 cup(s) fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  10. 1 tablespoon(s) olive oil
  11. 1/8 teaspoon of coarse black pepper

Cooking instructions:

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Brush cut sides of squash with oil, and sprinkle with sugar and salt and pepper to taste.Place squash, cut sides down, on a baking sheet. Roast until tender, about 45 minutes. Let cool slightly on sheet on a wire rack, about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the turkey, seltzer, garlic, parsley, egg white and bread crumbs. Heat oil in a skillet and saute onions for about 10 minutes or until caramelized. When done, add it to the meat mixture  Form the mixture into 2-in. balls (about 16) and place them on a baking sheet with parchment paper. Freeze for 30 minutes allowing the meatballs to set. I use this technique so when is comes to cooking the meatballs in my Marinara sauce, they will stay together rather than fall apart.

Warm 2 cups of  marinara sauce in a 6 quart pot over low heat. Toss the first layer meatballs in the sauce to coat. Make  sure that the meatballs are not touching the sides of the pot. Add another layer of meatballs and the remaining 3 cups. Add some water if the sauce begins to burn.  Bring to a boil and reduce heat and simmer,covered, for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Occasionally stir the meatballs carefully so they don’t fall apart or burn.

As the meatballs are cooking,  place squash on a cutting board of plate.With a fork, gently scrape the strands of flesh into a bowl. Serve the meatballs and sauce over the squash.

Yields 8 servings

Tips & Techniques

To make ahead, freeze the cooked meatballs and sauce for up to 2 months. Thaw in the refrigerator, then warm in a saucepan. Cook the squash just before serving.

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