It’s a comfort food kind of day. We’re in the process of selling our house so it’s been a challenge to keep the house clean and still manage to cook and so forth between showings. I swear, all I’m doing these days is cleaning, and re-cleaning, and cleaning again. I will be so glad when that’s over!!! Comfort food comes in all kinds of varieties. Most of the time, it just needs to be warm and delightfully savory. Something simple I could imagine my grandmother cooking for me even if it’s not exactly the same as her recipe would have been. Like this spaghetti squash and meatballs. The meatballs are an old recipe that I’ve altered slightly and of course, pouring them over spaghetti squash is super healthy. Put these little delicious meatballs over rice noodles and they are equally as fabulous. Or eat them without noodles… like appetizer style with a toothpick.
If you’ve never tried a spaghetti squash it’s really about time that you do. First let me preface this by saying I hate squash. I never liked it growing up and haven’t liked it as an adult. I was prompted to try it mostly cuz it looked fun. Anytime you can shred something and play with food it qualifies as a good new adventure to me! So I found a nice freshly picked spaghetti squash at a local farm’s pumpkin patch. Next came the chore of figuring out how to cut it in half for easy baking. It takes a little force but here’s the easiest way I’ve found to do it. Slice the stem end off to make a flat surface. Then stand it on that end and rock a large chef’s knife through the center while pressing down to break it into two halves. Scoop out the seeds, and place it cut side down on a baking sheet to bake.
It will essentially steam itself this way with the moisture from within. Once the outer skin of the squash gives to the touch, then you take it out of the oven and scrape it with a fork. It’ll shred into spaghetti looking strands like magic!
Of course, while the squash is baking, you’d be smart to mix up the meatballs and form them into small little orbs of goodness. These get a slow simmer in a simple tomato sauce and then served over the squash. The flavor of the squash is so mild that it takes on the flavor of whatever you put onto it so you’d never know you’re eating something so healthy. It won me over! If you want to be fancy, try placing a piece of mozzarella inside each meatball. It’s amazingly good!! You can also crockpot these little meatballs as an appetizer. Just form them, put them in a crock pot with the tomato sauce and let them cook 6-8 hours until cooked through.
- 1 medium to large spaghetti squash
- 1 pound ground beef or pork
- 1 pound Italian sausage
- 3 teaspoons parsley
- 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 eggs
- 1 tablespoon coconut flour (optional, use if you want firmer meatballs but they work fine without it)
- 6 cups tomato sauce (about 2 large cans)
- salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Slice the stem end off of the spaghetti squash to make a flat surface. Turn it onto this end and rock a chef's knife from the top end while pressing down to cut the squash into two halves.
- Scoop out the seeds and place cut side down onto a baking sheet.
- Bake squash until the skin indents lightly with the press of a finger. About 30-40 min depending on the size of your squash.
- While the squash is baking, place all meatball ingredients except the tomato sauce in a mixing bowl and mix with your hands. Really, it's the easiest way to get it all mixed up.
- Form small balls with the meat mixture and place in a large saucepan.
- Pour tomato sauce over meatballs so they are all submerged and simmer covered for about 20 minutes or until the meatballs are cooked through. They can continue to simmer longer than this if you're waiting for the squash to finish.
- When spaghetti squash is tender, take it out of the oven and shred with a fork.
- Place spaghetti squash strands in a serving bowl and serve with meatballs and the tomato sauce overtop.
You can cook these in a crock pot as well. Place meatballs in crockpot and cover with tomato sauce. Cook 6-8 hours until they are cooked through.