ITALIAN SPAGHETTI SQUASH AND MEATBALLS

Recipe by Claire Kaspar

Today we have an AMAZING recipe for Spaghetti and Meatballs, with a healthy carb-

free twist… SPAGHETTI SQUASH NOODLES! (squoodles). I love spaghetti squash

and the slight sweetness it provides to compliment the salty, savory flavor of the

meatballs and sauce. This was personally my first time to have success with meatballs. I

grew up always having meat sauce, but y’all…there is no comparison. These meatballs

are so full of flavor and simple to make. (Plus they just get better as leftovers).

So let’s start with the tasty spaghetti squash. You can of course make regular noodles with this recipe, but I prefer the spaghetti squash because it’s such an easy way to reduce calories and increase the fiber content in this meal…plus it tastes incredible.

Prep Time: 1 hour

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Difficulty: Easy

May we recommend:

Step 1: Roast the spaghetti squash. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and lightly coat a baking sheet with nonstick spray or olive oil. Cut the squash in half lengthwise. I found this buff guy hanging around too close to the kitchen and recruited him to cut the squash because these mom arms wouldn’t cut it. Scrape out the seeds like a pumpkin and try to remember that fall is right around the corner and it won’t be 104 degrees outside forever. Side note: I learned after my knife got stuck in the raw squash that you can poke a few holes in it and pop it in the microwave for 4 minutes to soften it before cutting.

Step 2: Prepare the ingredients.  Heat about 2 T olive oil on a skillet over medium heat and throw the diced onion in. Stir occasionally and cook until transparent (about 10-15 minutes). Combine the bread crumbs and milk in a small bowl and let them soak while the onions are cooking. Prepare a baking dish with foil and non-stick spray. Oh, the glorious smell of sautéeing onions! Now it’s safe for the husband to come home because it smells like you’ve done something wonderful.

Step 3: Mix the meatballs. Grab your thawed ground beef and pork, drain any juice, and place in large bowl. Add the eggs, parmesan, parsley, garlic, salt, red pepper flakes, ground black pepper, and milk soaked bread crumbs to the meat mixture. When the onions are done cooking, place them in the bowl with the other ingredients and mix it all up with your hands thoroughly. (You can also use a spoon, but this is way more fun).

Step 4: Check the spaghetti squash. It should be getting pretty soft right about now. When you can easily poke a fork through the skin, pull the squash out and let it cool. Then grab a fork and scrape out the squoodles and place them in a bowl. It’s pretty much magical. Also, spoons work great for entertaining babies in the kitchen! At least or a little while.

Step 5: Cook the meatballs. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Form meatballs about 1 ½ inches in diameter and place them on the prepared baking sheet. Using wet hands helps the meat not stick to your hands so much. Cook these little babies until brown all the way through, about 20 minutes. Prepare a delicious side salad while the meatballs are roasting in the oven.

Step 6: Bring it all together. Once the meatballs are cooked through, remove from the oven. I served ours with a pre-made organic marinara sauce from our local H-E-B. Heat up the sauce and combine with the meatballs. Serve on top of a delicious mound of the spaghetti squash and finish with some freshly grated parmesan and enjoy!