Now that autumn is officially here, it is time to embrace the season and start cooking more comfort foods. I don’t that there is anything more comforting than a great dinner of Spaghetti and Meatballs!
With Jamie and I trying to eat healthy (actually we are just trying to balance out all the carbohydrates that we consume through cookies 😉 ), we don’t eat a lot of pasta. However, this year I have been introduced to the wonderful world of spaghetti squash!
Jamie prepared a squash for us over the summer, and I was thoroughly impressed with how much it seemed like pasta. I couldn’t get over the fact that this vegetable was just as satisfying as boiling up a pot of spaghetti noodles. The next day I immediately contacted my sister, Cherie, to tell her about our amazing “discovery” of spaghetti squash. However, much to my surprise, she told me that she had been using spaghetti squash as pasta for years. Well, I guess I missed that memo 🙂
Jamie has been the one preparing our spaghetti squash meals this summer, but with fall finally here, I wanted to create a comfort food meal using this vegetable, so I could share the experience with all of you.
I started out by making some meatballs. We normally make a meat sauce (which is easier and less time consuming) but I thought that making meatballs would be fun and whimsical. Of course, meatballs are not hard to make, throw your ground meat into a bowl, add in some egg, spices & flavour and form into balls. Easy. Put them in the oven for about half an hour and there you go; meatballs!
I didn’t quite time out my meal as well as I could have, once the meatballs were formed and ready for the oven, I realized that I hadn’t prepared the squash. Jamie immediately went to work, cutting the squash into quarters and taking out all the seeds. Traditionally spaghetti squash should be roasted in the oven at about 400°F for 40 minutes, but the meatballs were cooking at 350°F, so I put the squash in the oven about 15 minutes before the meatballs and cooked them all together at 350°F. It seemed to work out fine.
While the squash and meatballs were in the oven, I started to make a tomato sauce. The recipe that I was looking at called for two cans of diced tomatoes, but we only had one in our pantry. I roughly chopped up a large tomato to add to the diced tomatoes. I actually think this worked out better, as I think that there would have been too much liquid if I had used the recommended two cans. In fact, when I made this again, I think I will only use fresh tomatoes (maybe 3 or 4 large). Fresh tomatoes provide a lot more flavour than canned, in my opinion.
I let the sauce simmer and the flavours combine while the squash and meatballs were cooking in the oven. When the timer went off, I was excited to try a meatball! They are so easy to make, but I never think to make them, well, not any more! Meatballs for everybody!!
The squash is super easy to shred. Just take a fork to the flesh and immediately it looks like you have a large pile of spaghetti.
This combination of squash, meatballs and tomato sauce was amazing, and so easy. I can see this becoming a weekly staple in our home.
Make it Paleo – Bill Staley & Hayley Mason
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 1 egg, lightly whisked
- 2 tbsp tamari
- 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- Salt & Pepper
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 3 cloves minced garlic
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 can diced tomatoes
- 1 large tomato – roughly chopped
- 1 tsp Italian seasoning
- 1 cup mushrooms – roughly chopped
- 1 spaghetti squash – roasted and shredded
- Preheat oven to 350°F. In a medium bowl, combine ground beer, onion, egg, tamari, Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, salt and pepper.
- Form meat into one inch balls, and place on parchment lined baking sheet.
- Prepare your squash. Using sharp knife, remove the stem from the spaghetti squash. Cut the squash into quarters, beginning at the top where the stem was.
- Scoop out the seeds with a spoon.
- Place squash on baking sheet and place in oven with the meatballs.
- The meatballs will be cooked in about twenty-five minutes, the squash will take about forty minutes. The squash is done cooking, when it can be shred easily with a fork.
- While the meatballs and squash are in the oven, prepare your tomato sauce.
- In a sauce pan, sauté the onion and garlic in olive oil, over medium-high heat.
- Add in your tomatoes (chopped and canned), along with Italian seasoning, salt and pepper.
- Bring sauce to a boil, and then let simmer for ten minutes.
- Add in your chopped mushrooms and continue to simmer for another ten minutes.
- When meatballs and squash are finished cooking, carefully shred the squash and serve with the meatballs and tomato sauce.