Friday, January 27, 2012

Spaghetti Squash and Meatballs

To quote Barney from How I Met Your Mother (a show as addicting as buttery popcorn) "haaaaaave you met spaghetti squash?"

Well, sadly, for 30 years I've been living completely unaware of this fantastic gourd. Luckily, thanks to the dedicated pinners of the world, I found a delicious, slurpy canvas just waiting to be dressed up however I see fit.

This time around I took a classic route, covering it in rich marinara and tender turkey meatballs. I liked it, my husband liked it, the kids...well, kids are kids. BUT, I can guarantee that the spaghetti squash will be making repeat appearances at our home. There are so many fun ways to prepare it, I can't wait to try more.

Spaghetti Squash with Turkey Meatballs
Martha Stewart


For the Spaghetti Squash
2 spaghetti squashes (about 2 pounds each), halved lengthwise and seeds removed
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the Sauce
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 cans (28 ounces each) crushed tomatoes with basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the Meatballs
1/2 cup fresh breadcrumbs
1/2 cup grated Parmesan-Reggiano cheese, plus more for serving (optional)
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 large clove garlic, finely chopped
1/4 cup milk
1 pound ground turkey
1 large egg
3/4 teaspoon coarse salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil


1. To prepare the spaghetti, preheat oven to 400 degrees. Drizzle cut sides of squashes with oil; season with salt and pepper. Place cut sides up on a baking sheet. Bake until soft to the touch, 1 to 1 1/4 hours.

2. To prepare the sauce, heat the oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring with a wooden spoon, for 1 minute. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring, for an additional minute. Stir in the tomatoes and oregano; season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, and reduce to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 20 minutes. Keep warm over low heat.

3. Prepare the meatballs. In a medium bowl, stir together the breadcrumbs, Parmesan, parsley, and garlic with a wooden spoon until combined. Add the milk, and stir until incorporated. Add the turkey, egg, salt, and pepper, and mix with your hands until well combined. Form mixture into 1 1/2-inch balls.

4. Heat the olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Working in 2 batches, cook the meatballs until evenly browned, turning often, about 6 minutes. Repeat with remaining meatballs. Transfer meatballs to the sauce, and simmer until cooked through, about 10 minutes.

5. When the squashes are cool enough to handle, scrape the flesh of each squash with a fork into strands, and place into a large bowl. Serve topped with meatballs and sauce, and sprinkled with cheese, if desired.

What I've Been Reading

Any book worms out there? I happen to be an absolute book fanatic. In fact if food and books were to compete for my love, I fear that food might take a close (CLOSE) second, gasp! I feel like a traitor for having even uttered that phrase.

Since this is the case, I thought I would start including a small book review at the end of my posts. So, if the food hasn't been striking your fancy, I hope you at least come for the books.

The Paris Wife by Paula McLain has been my most recent read. I was lucky enough to score it at the library without reserving it. I had been hearing rave reviews for quite a few months now and couldn't wait to get my hands on it.

The Paris Wife is about Hadley Richardson, the wife of Ernest Hemingway, and their years together. It was SO interesting because up until this point I honestly knew nothing about Ernest Hemingway, except that he wrote Old Man and The Sea. I assumed he was a country dude living in Montana, I could not have been more wrong. His life was actually very intriguing, bohemian and tragic, and Hadley's experience with him is nothing short of fascinating. I never want to give too much away, but I do highly recommend it.

And if you are on, for goodness sakes, friend me! You can find me under Teresa Green. Otherwise leave a comment and tell me what you're reading right now. I LOVE hearing about books!


Fleur said...

I love spaghetti squash! Sometimes it is hard to find though.

I've tried it both with the standard tomato sauce, and also with butter salt and pepper. What else could we top spaghetti squash with?

Erica said...

I am not a reader...I wish I enjoyed it more. How fantastical is spaghetti squash? I'm a total addict. Looks great with those meatballs

Pam said...

Your food always strikes my fancy - I am loving this squash & meatballs recipe. YUM!

I love reading - I'll have to check this book out. Ernest Hemingway taught my dad how to make cocktails (when he was filling in for a bartender at a bar in Idaho). True story.

Chris said...

I haven't tried spaghetti squash but I've been told it is good and "just like spaghetti".

Reading right now? Mostly "On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of The Kitchen" by McGee. Fascinating stuff.

Kim said...

Oh my..I don't know where to start. First of all, I just bought a spaghetti squash and cooked it for the first time yesterday and I'm in love. I made a gratin with it, but I think I would prefer something like the dish you made here. It looks delicious!

Second of all, I am a book fanatic too. I'll have to pin the Paris Wife for reading later. It does sound great. Right now I'm reading Tess Gerritsen's murder mystery series based on the hit show Rizzoli & Isles and I love them! Seriously can't put them down (which is a problem with small kids around). Ha ha!

Leslie said...

OMG..I love love love spaghetti squash! I mix it up with butter and some parm and I am good to go! Love that you added meatballs

Dining Alone said...

I have never tried spaghetti squash either, and I see it EVERYWHERE in cook books and on blogs. I need to try it

Mary said...

This pasta combo sounds wonderful. I think I may treat myself to it this weekend. I hope you have a great day. Blessings...Mary

theUngourmet said...

Yum! Your meatballs look fantastic! I need to pick up a spaghetti squash again's been a while. The book sounds like a fun read. Right now I'm reading A Salty Piece of Land by Jimmy Buffet. It's a fun one too. Would be a great summer beach read. It makes me dream of a warm white beach, turquoise water and a drink with an umbrella. ;0) Have a wonderful weekend!

MegSmith @ Cooking.In.College said...

Hahah YES!

This recipe looks legen...wait for it...DAIRY!

Alviana Kalin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Alviana Kalin said...

this looks great! never eaten spaghetti squash before


Heather said...

Mmmm...delicious and healthy! Since I'm the only one in the family who eats spaghetti squash, I don't really get it very often. But I'm t hinking I need to find a small one for myself pretty soon.

This sounds like a book I'd enjoy, I'll add it to my ever-growing list. Just finished The Baker's Daughter by Sarah McCoy- good one!

Barbara said...

I loved Paris Wife. And read constantly. There are lots of inveterate readers online and I have copied some of their lists if you want them. Do you follow Jain and Maggie? They always have good book suggestions.
And....I also love spaghetti squash. I usually do it simply with brown butter and sage, but really love the idea of using it truly as spaghetti.

Rebecca Subbiah said...

looks great wish spaghetti squash filled me up though :-)

ARLENE said...

Looks delish and thanks for reminding me I have one in the veggie bin. Tomorrow!

Reeni said...

I am a spaghetti squash lover! Looks delicious with meatballs. I always like your food! I'll look for you on Good Reads - although I'm a total fantasy geek.

Alida said...

This is new to me and very interesting. Beautiful original dish. Well done!Ciao!

Cathy said...

Hi Theresa. Thanks for a yummy recipe (we love spaghetti squash) and for the book recommendation. I've heard of The Paris Wife and can't wait to read it.

Taste and Tell said...

I love, love spaghetti squash, and that looks fabulous!

Just added you as a friend on goodreads. I LOVE to read, and had been reading a lot until Easton was born. It makes me sad, because there are so many books out there that I want to read! I think a trip to the library is on the agenda for tomorrow!!

Velva said...

Isn't spaghetti squash amazing? Virtually no calories, no fat and it can be topped with almost anything and taste great.

The Paris Wife sounds like a good read. Just the kind of book that I would enjoy. I have been to Ernest Hemmingway's home in Key West. very interesting.


Debbie said...

This looks delicious. I discovered spaghetti squash a few years back and just love it! I love to read also but I stick with nonfiction. Love Anne Rule. Do you ever read any of her books? I can't put them down once I start!

The Blonde Duck said...

I've always wanted to try this! How did it compare to pasta?

Joanne said...

While I've known about spaghetti squash for a while, I never remember to make it! It's really perfect for when you want a more calorific pasta sauce without all the calories. Love this classic preparation!

And YAY for book reviews! I want to read more in 2012 and reading your review has definitely been inspiring!

Julie said...

Sounds like a great book, I'm always looking for good reads. The squash looks delish! I love that stuff :)

Julie said...

Sounds like a great book, I'm always looking for good reads. The squash looks delish! I love that stuff :)

Dianne Grover said...

Thank you for sharing this collection of recipes. All of these really look so delicious! One of my favorite dishes is spaghetti with meatballs, which one can find in most restaurant Fort Lauderdale or diners. I can have for breakfast, lunch and dinner! Anyway, that Spanish meatball tapa really looks so good! This is certainly a must try; perfect for this weekend!