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
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 goodreads.com, 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!