Thursday, October 9, 2014

Spaghetti Squash and Meatballs

Last fall, we tried spaghetti squash for the first time and loved it! I can't even begin to tell you how many dinners we had that involved spaghetti squash last October and November. I may have gone a little overboard on it. But as spring and summer came around, it was forgotten. Our spaghetti squash plant in the garden produced just one very small squash, but someone else was kind enough to share their extra bounty with me, so we are once again stocked!

Spaghetti and meatballs is a favorite in my house, but I just don't have enough time in the day to make spaghetti from scratch all the time. When I decided to try to October Unprocessed challenge, spaghetti squash was the first food that came to mind.

For the spaghetti squash, I just cut it in half and rub each half down with olive oil, salt and pepper. Then, place cut side down on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet and roast for about an hour at 425. Then using a fork, pull out all of the strands into a glass baking dish. I usually add about a tablespoon of butter and toss that well and top with grated Parmesan. Just before it's served, put it under the broiler for a few minutes for the cheese to melt.

While that is cooking, I start the sauce. Tomato sauce is one of my favorite things to make and it's so easy! I can use tomatoes I canned over the summer so it has a fresh, summery taste.

Saute one diced onion and a tablespoon (or 2) of minced garlic in some olive oil until the onions soften.

Then add in a quart of diced tomatoes (drained), a pint of tomato sauce, and herbs to taste. I used fresh basil, oregano and parsley from the garden. Then, just let it simmer.

For the meatballs, I combined a pound of ground pork, an egg, breadcrumbs from some peasant bread I made the other day, Italian seasoning and salt. Then form into balls and brown in a cast iron skillet. When all sides are browned, toss them in the oven to finish cooking. Usually by the time my sauce has simmered down to a good thickness, the meatballs are done.

When the meatballs have cooked all the way through, I add them to the sauce. This allows the tomato sauce to pick up some of the pork flavor and the meatballs to absorb some of the tomato sauce.

This is a pretty involved dinner, but it's always delicious and makes a great lunch the next day!

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