Finally into fall, with all the winter squash coming out in the stores, I am quickly swapping out my beloved zucchini and summer squash for heartier sides like butternut, kabocha and my personal favorite- spaghetti squash. I love a good pasta meal, but true Italian-style pasta is an indulgence that I enjoy on only special occasions (and usually out at our favorite local, hand-made pasta spot). Spaghetti squash not only tastes delicious, but provides a more nutrient-dense, fiber-rich and blood sugar-balancing option in place of your typical spaghetti noodles. It's simple to make (great for meal prep as it holds up well in the fridge- reheat in the microwave or oven to prevent the noodles from falling apart) and it goes well with a variety of pasta-type toppings. One of my favorites? These stuffed spaghetti squash halves with a simple bolognese sauce, a sprinkle of cheese and some basil on top for a hearty, fall or winter meal that is filling and nutrient-packed.
Stuffed Spaghetti Squash Bolognese
1 spaghetti squash
1 batch turkey or beef bolognese (or heat 1 jar of your favorite clean spaghetti sauce with 1 lb of cooked lean ground meat)
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
2 tbsp fresh basil, chiffonade
1. To cook spaghetti squash: Preheat oven to 375. Slice off bottom of spaghetti squash to allow for more control when slicing. Slice in half and scoop out seeds.Spray or grease a glass or metal baking pan/sheet. Place squash, cut-side down, on baking sheet or pan. Roast in oven for 45 minutes-1 hour or cook on rack with 1 cup water in Instant Pot for 10 minutes.
2. Preheat oven to 375.
3. Place cooked spaghetti squash cut side-up on an 8x8" glass baking dish or baking sheet.
4. Fill each squash half with 1/4 bolognese mixture.
5. Top each with 1/4 cup cheese and 1 tbsp fresh basil.
6. Bake in oven for 10-15 minutes, to heat filling and melt cheese. Serve hot.
NOTE: You will have leftover bolognese sauce to use at another meal; or double and cook 2 spaghetti squash!
Kristin's Cheater 'Bolognese' 1 can plain, no-sugar-added organic tomato sauce
1 tbsp Italian seasoning
1/2 tbsp coconut oil or ghee
1 small onion
1 cup bella mushrooms, chopped
2 small cloves garlic
1 lb. lean ground turkey (or beef)
sea salt and ground pepper
1.One to two hours prior to cooking, place tomato sauce and all spices in a medium sauce pot. Bring to a low simmer and simmer until flavors have melded and sauce is fragrant. Be careful not to reduce too significantly; add 1⁄4-1/2 cup water as needed if this occurs.
2. Heat oil to medium in a large sauté pan.
3. Add onion, mushrooms and garlic and cook until translucent.
4. Add turkey and season liberally. Cook until fully browned.
5. Stir in tomato sauce that has been simmering and season to taste.