This would be the second time that I’ve made this spaghetti. I don’t remember exactly where I had found out about spaghetti squash, but when I had bought it the first time I thought it was super cool. This dish is Paleo friendly, it satisfies the craving for this comfort food, and it’s pretty filling.
This past weekend I had made a Stuffed Portobello Mushroom, and I had saved half of the meat mixture for the spaghetti sauce. So if you follow me and the pictures look a little familiar then that’s where you know it from. The only difference is that I moved the meat from a skillet to a sauce pot and added tomatoes. The sauce, once it simmered for an hour or two was stored in the fridge for about two days. A couple reasons why I did that:
1. It was getting pretty late by the time we had finished cooking the last of our food for our weekly meal prep.
2. I forgot to prepare the squash.
3. Letting the sauce sit overnight or even two days will enhance the flavor. The sitting period marries all of the herbs and spices and brings them together. Making the sauce more flavorful and delicious. Try it!
Anyhoo, making the sauce and baking the squash is very very easy. If you prefer even more quick and easy recipe, or perhaps you want to go the vegetarian route you can opt out of the meat. You can go even quicker by just purchasing a jar of pre-made spaghetti sauce at your local grocery store. But where’s the fun in that?
What I didn’t get a chance to do was add more vegetables to the sauce. Whenever I make spaghetti for my kids I like to shred up carrots and zucchini and add it to the sauce. I’ll even add bell peppers and mushrooms if I have it on hand. I always feel like the kids don’t eat nearly enough vegetables, and so if you can sneak in the veggies without them knowing AWESOME! The carrots will add a little sweetness to the sauce, and being Filipino I like it a little sweet. Growing up, whenever my Mom made spaghetti she always added a handful or two of sugar at the end. Shredded carrots are much healthier for you than sugar.
On with the recipe! I’m going to write it as if I were making it my usual way. So everything will be cooked in a large sauce pan (just ignore that skillet in the pictures) and I’m going to add the extra vegetables, but those are optional just like the meat. Just read the recipe first, take out what you don’t like and put in what you like. Recipes are like guidelines anyway. Except when you’re baking. 😛 Most measurements are guesstimates as I don’t really measure when I cook. I kind of just throw it in there. So please season your dish a little bit and once it’s complete you can add more to your liking. You know what you like anyway.
1/2 pound of grass fed ground beef
1/2 pound of ground Italian sausage
1/2 onion, diced
2 slices (or more!!) of bacon, diced
1-2 tablespoons of minced garlic
1 – 15 oz. can of organic tomato sauce
1 – 15 oz. can of organic diced tomatoes
1 – 6 or 8 oz can of organic tomato paste.
** Veggies (If you want to sneak veggies into your sauce for the kiddos, or just so you can have more veggies in your diet I would recommend shredded carrots, shredded or chopped zucchini, sliced mushrooms, diced bell peppers, black olives, etc. Amounts will vary depending on how much sauce you are making.)
** Grated parmesan cheese (I like to add about 3-4 handfuls of parmesan cheese into my sauce while it’s cooking. Also tasty after it’s all cooked.)
** Fresh Basil, Oregano and Italian Parsley (If you have some on hand then grab a small handful of each, chop it up finely and add it to the sauce. I know that the sausage should have some of those herbs in it, but it can’t hurt to add more! Oh and if you have dry then add about 2-3 tsp of each. Then add more, after you’ve tasted the sauce, to your liking. Another thing about dried herbs and spices, they have a shelf life of about 2 years if it’s not already printed on the container.)
Salt and pepper to taste
1 – spaghetti squash (weight will vary depending on how much spaghetti you want to make.)
1. Preheat oven to 375 F.
2. Cut your spaghetti squash in half.
3. See those seeds? Scrape them out.
4. Oil up a baking sheet with EVOO or coconut oil or butter, whatever you like, and place the squash cut side down.
5. Pop it into the oven and let cook for 45 minutes. Stab it with a fork and if it goes in easy then it’s cooked. If not, add another 10-15 mins and check again.
6. While the squash is baking, take a large sauce pot and heat it on medium high heat. Add ground beef. Let it cook for about 5 minutes.
7. Add sausage and cook for 5 minutes. Don’t forget to stir!
8. Add diced bacon and cook another 5 minutes.
9. Add veggies and cook for yet another 5 minutes.
10. Add tomatoes, herbs, and cheese. Stir and when it comes to a boil, turn the heat to low and let it simmer. Stir it every now and again just to make sure the bottom doesn’t burn.
11. Squash is done I hope. Take it out of the oven.
12. When the squash isn’t too hot to handle, use a spoon or a fork to scrape out the spaghetti.
13. Top it with your sauce and ENJOY!!