I should start this off with I have no Italian bone in my body. But what I do have is a hubby who loves himself some pasta, which has made start playing with recipes and creating a (very) foolproof & quick favorite.
Spring has been here for a bit but the weather is still so up and down that one day we are eating popsicles on the porch and others we are craving hot foods and fighting colds. This all makes my menu planning pretty nutty but sub in a veggie noodle with homemade sauce and you have yourself a nice balance of ingredient for this not quite spring weather and being nice to that bikini bod.... (yours not mine, mine will NEVER be a bikini bod again...)
I use Trader Joes turkey meatballs and roasted the squash ahead which made it a much easier weeknight meal but you could easily skip the meatballs or make them homemade!
1 Spaghetti Squash
28oz. Can Crushed Tomatoes
3 Tablespoons Extra-Virgin Olive Oil (1tbsp for brushing squash)
1 Small Yellow Onion - Finely Chopped (About 1/2 Cup)
2 Garlic Cloves, Minced
1 Tablespoon Sugar
1/2 Teaspoon Salt ( + a little more for squash)
1/2 tsp Coarse Ground Pepper ( + a little more for squash)
2 tbsp Dried Basil
1 tbsp dried oregano
Pinch of Red Pepper Flakes
1 tbsp Grated Parmesan Cheese
1 tbsp dried Flat-Leaf Parsley
Salt & Freshly Ground Black Pepper for seasoning
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees
2. Cut off the ends of the spaghetti squash and slice it in half the long way
3. Scoop out seeds and pulp.
4. Brush the cut side of the squash with olive oil and sprinkle salt & pepper on them.
5. Place the squash cut side down on a cookie sheet.
6. Place in oven for 1 hour.
7. Let cool slightly (10 minutes).
8. Then carefully fork out the squash, this keeps "noodles in tact)
9. In a medium skillet set over medium heat, warm the olive oil.
10. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes.
11. Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
12. Add the crushed tomatoes, sugar and salt.
13. Reduce the heat to low and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes have softened and the sauce has thickened slightly, about 15 minutes.
14. Bring the sauce to a boil.
15. educe the heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened, about 20 minutes.
16. Remove the sauce from the heat, and set aside. 17. Meanwhile, in a large skillet set over medium heat, warm the olive oil.
18. Add the garlic and a pinch of red-pepper flakes and cook, stirring occasionally, until fragrant, about 1 minute.
19. Remove the basil from the tomato sauce, then add the sauce to the skillet, simmer for 5 minutes.
20. Add the meatballs.
21. Cover and simmer until warmed through.
22. Add the spaghetti to the skillet and carefully toss to coat,
23. Remove the skillet from the heat and stir in the Parmesan, basil and parsley.
24. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
25. Transfer everything to a serving dish and garnish with additional cheese and basil, if desired.
26. Serve immediately.
And seriously pour yourself a glass of wine and high five yourself because this my friends is an easy peasy fancy pants meal, now excuse me while I snuggle my littles and my poor sick Z naps.
Oh and watch out for a mama style post and frozen margarita recipe that will have you celebrating Cinco de Mayo all weekend.