This is one of our favorite fall meals — both the paleo parents and neolithic kids enjoy this dinner. For the kids I usually make them start with one serving w/the squash noodles, then they can have seconds with regular pasta noodles.
As the chief meal-maker, I like this dish because it’s easy to make and is comprised of ingredients I usually have on hand in the pantry/freezer.
Hearty Spaghetti Sauce
Adapted from Taste of Home
Note: the amounts below represent a double-batch, but can easily be halved. I recommend making the double-batch b/c it’s just as easy as a single and the leftovers freeze well.
- 2 pounds ground beef or Italian sausage (I like to use 1lb of each)
- 2 medium onions, chopped
- 2 to 3 garlic cloves, minced (we love garlic)
- 2 large (28 oz) cans tomato sauce
- 2 to 3 bay leaves
- 2 tsp dried basil or 2 Tbsp fresh basil, minced plus
- 1.5 tsp dried oregano or 1 Tbsp fresh oregano, minced
- 1 heaping Tbsp Italian seasoning
- 1 to 2 tsp sea salt (to taste)
- 1 tsp ground pepper (to taste)
In a Dutch oven or other non-reactive pot (i.e. not cast iron), cook the ground beef/sausage with the onion over medium heat until the meat is cooked through and no longer pink.
Note: I do not drain the fat when cooking with grass-fed beef. You may want to drain fat at this point if using conventional grocery store meat.
Add the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil.
Note: I recommend using the lesser amount of salt and adding more later if needed.
Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 30 minutes to an hour, stirring occasionally.
Remove bay leaves before serving (or pick them out of your bowl). Serve over spaghetti squash.
Yield: 8 large servings, ~2 quarts
Baked Spaghetti Squash
There are many ways to cook spaghetti squash, this is my preferred method.
Preheat oven to 375.
Start with one whole spaghetti squash. The one I used was on the small side.
Cut that sucker in half, length-wise. This is the tricky part as the shell is super tough. I use a knife with a serrated edge and consider this a mini-workout :).
Scoop out the seeds and fibrous strands.
Place squash face down (rind up) on a baking sheet.
Bake for ~30 minutes. If you are not sure if it is done, flip one side over and stick a fork in it. It should slide in easily.
After it’s cooked, let it cool for a bit (or risk burning your fingers), then use a fork to shred the squash — it will create noodles, the way Mother Nature intended!