This is a three part recipe. It includes instructions for cooking spagetti squash, a good tomato sauce and a recipe for meatballs or meatloaf, whichever you like. All of this can be prepared in an hour or you can prep it in the morning and finish it in the evening. You can make the sauce ahead of time and have it waiting in a jar in the refrigerator.
Three recipes does not mean that it is hard, so please do not be intimidated by this recipe. It is all really simple ingredients that make a delicious and simple dish. This is also a great “leftovers” dish. If your kids eat cheese, throw some cheese on the meat and you have cheeseburger balls!
1 tsp. olive oil
1 28-oz. can crushed tomatoes
1-14oz. can tomato sauce or diced tomatoes
2 Tbsp. cider or red wine vinegar
1/2 cup chicken stock or broth
1/2 tsp. ground mustard
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1 pinch allspice (optional)
1 Tbsp. dried basil
1 bay leaf
salt and pepper
Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil and stir frequently. Let mixture simmer for 20-30 minutes until thickened. If it begins to thicken too much, add stock, 1/4 cup at a time until desired consistency is reached. Always return to a boil before adding any more stock.
1 spagetti squash, halved and seeds scooped out
2 cups water
This method is taken directly from Elanaspantry.com How to Roast a Pumpkin. Well, you can do the same with spagetti squash, butternut squash, acorn squash, etc.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees
Cut squash in half. Using a large metal spoon, scoop out seeds and stringy parts. Place each half face down in a 9 x 13 in casserole dish. Fill the dish 1/2 way up the sides with water, about 2 cups. Place in oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour depending on the size of the squash. Check about halfway through and add more water if it’s getting low. You’ll know it’s done when you poke the side of the squash, it should give to the pressure of your finger. If it remains stiff to the touch, return to oven for 10-15 minutes more.
Remove from oven and let cool for a few minutes. Flip the squash over (carefully, they’re hot!) With a fork, pull the flesh away from the sides and bottom of each half of squash. Spoon onto serving plates and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Serve with spagetti sauce and meatballs.
Microwave Method: You can do the same thing in the microwave. Prepare squash as above, except after you pour the water in, put it in the microwave. Turn off the turning plate and microwave on high for about 20 minutes. Rotate halfway through and check it toward the end of cooking as not all microwaves are created equal.
Meatballs or Meatloaf
4 lbs. ground meat of choice (use any combination of turkey, beef, lean pork or chicken)
1/2 medium onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 Tbsp. worcestershire sauce
2 large eggs
1 jar Trader Joe’s Salsa* (no sugar)
Salt and Pepper to taste
*if you don’t have the salsa on hand, substitute with the following: the other 1/2 onion-diced, 1 bell pepper-diced, 1 tsp. thyme, 1 Tbsp. tomato paste, 1/2 cup chicken stock
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Prepare a baking sheet by lining it with aluminum foil.
In a large mixing bowl, combine all of the ingredients and season with salt and pepper. With your hands, combine, squish, squash and turn all ingredients until fully incorporated. Form into 24 meatballs or two large meatloafs. Season with salt and pepper and spoon some of the sauce over the top of each. Cook the meatballs for 35-45 minutes or the meatloaf for 90 minutes. Using an instant read thermometer, check the internal temperature of the meatloaf. You’ll want 160 degrees to know that it is fully cooked.
Serve over spagetti squash and pour sauce over the top!