MEATBALLS IN DRUNKEN TOMATO SAUCE AND SPAGHETTI SQUASH

Well, you can tell from the title what went into this recipe!  I have never had spaghetti squash before, so decided it was time to try it with meatballs and tomato sauce.  A friend gave us this lovely spaghetti squash from his garden - so delicious, I was pleasantly surprised.  This is a delicious alternative to regular pasta - and healthy too.
If you read my blog, you know we are huge pasta lovers in this house.  So to replace pasta with what I thought was a benign, plain tasting squash, I had to rev up the sauce a bit.  (little did I know how good this squash would be)
But first, to tell a story.  I have a friend who makes Pasta Sauce once a year.  I asked him:  "why once a year?"  He replied: "because it is an all day affair".  "An all day affair, what do you mean?"  His reply was this:  "I use a whole bottle of red wine, and cook the meat sauce all day".  Well, no wonder.  I certainly did not use a whole bottle of wine, and thought, there has to be an easier way, that would be just as tasty....and this was it: (whole day?...not in my world!)
one medium/large Spaghetti Squash
Tomato Sauce:
Olive Oil
1/2 a large onion diced
6 minced garlic cloves
3/4 cup roughly chopped crimini mushrooms
1/2 a cup of diced Anaheim Pepper
1 large glass of red wine
28 oz. can of whole tomatoes, roughly chopped
2-3 tblsp. tomato paste
2 tsp. Italian Seasoning
1 rounded tsp. ground Fennel
1 rounded tsp. Oregano
1 rounded tsp. Garlic powder
salt and pepper
5.5 oz. can of tomato paste
Meatballs:
1 lb. hormone/antibiotic free lean ground beef
1 large egg
2 tblsp. minced fresh Flat Leaf Italian Parsley
1/2 an onion, finely diced
2 large minced garlic cloves
big handful of GF breadcrumbs
big handful of Parmesan Cheese
salt and pepper
Mix the ground beef with the ingredients, and form into small balls.
Heat up a dutch oven on medium heat with a drizzle of olive oil.  Add the meatballs in batches, and lightly brown - do not cook through.  Then place in a bowl, into the refrigerator.  Add another drizzle of olive oil to the pan, and brown the mushrooms until golden.  Turn the heat down to low medium, and add the minced onions, and pepper, sauteing until the onions are translucent.  Add the garlic, and seasonings, stirring until fragrant.
Pour in the wine, scraping up any brown bits, and bring to a good simmer.
Simmer to reduce to half.
Pour in the tomatoes and juice, with the Bay Leaf, more salt and pepper, and bring to a simmer.  Lid on but cracked slightly.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Poke the Spaghetti squash with a skewer all over, place in a roasting pan, bake for 1 hour, turning over the squash half way through.
For the sauce - at the 30 minute mark, add the meatballs to the sauce, and simmer for another 30 minutes, lid on slightly cracked.
Remove the squash from the oven, and allow to cool until it can be handled. Add the tomato paste to the meatballs and sauce, stirring to combine, and return to a light simmer.
Cut the squash in half, (I held the end of the squash with a clean dish cloth) scoop out the seeds, then with a fork, scrape out the strings of squash.
Serve with the meatballs in drunken tomato sauce, and top with extra Parmesan cheese.  So delicious...glad I found you spaghetti squash!

Ina Gawne
author

6 comments on “MEATBALLS IN DRUNKEN TOMATO SAUCE AND SPAGHETTI SQUASH”

  1. Yum, Yum, Yum, Drunken Tomato Sauce! I can't wait to try it! I love spaghetti squash but have never cooked it whole - I will have to try that! Thanks for sharing your recipe. 🙂

  2. I just planted 2 spaghetti squash plants last weekend. I have never seen the plants before but had heard about them. Thanks for giving me such a great recipe to try when they finally grow up 🙂

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October 6, 2011
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