Main Dishes

Spaghetti Squash With Turkey Meatballs

1 spaghetti squash (about 3 – 4 pounds), halved lengthwise and seeds removed

For the sauce:

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

4 cloves garlic, finely chopped

2 tablespoons tomato paste

2 (28 oz) cans crushed tomatoes with basil

1 teaspoon dried oregano

Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the meatballs:

1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs

1/2 cup grated Parmesan-Reggiano cheese, plus more for serving

1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

1 large clove garlic, finely chopped

1/4 cup milk

1 pound ground turkey

1 large egg

3/4 teaspoon coarse salt

Freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1.   To prepare the squash, cut squash in half lengthwise; remove seeds. Place squash cut sides up in a microwave dish with 1/4 cup water.

Cover with plastic wrap and cook on high for 10 to 12 minutes, depending on size of squash. Add more cooking time if necessary. Let stand covered, for 5 minutes.

2.   To prepare the sauce, heat the oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring with a wooden spoon, for 1 minute. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring, for an additional minute. Stir in the tomatoes and oregano; season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, and reduce to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 20 minutes. Keep warm over low heat.

3.   Prepare the meatballs. In a medium bowl, stir together the breadcrumbs, parmesan, parsley, and garlic with a wooden spoon until combined. Add the milk, and stir until incorporated. Add the turkey, egg, salt, and pepper, and mix with your hands until well combined. Form mixture into 1 1/2 inch balls.

4.   Heat the olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Working in 2 batches, cook the meatballs until evenly browned, turning often, about 6 minutes. Repeat with remaining meatballs. Transfer meatballs to the sauce, and simmer until cooked through, about 10 minutes.

5.   When the squashes are cool enough to handle, scrape the flesh of each squash with a fork into strands, and place into a large bowl. Serve topped with meatballs and sauce, and sprinkled with cheese.        

Jill McKee (Jamie’s Cousin)

Anaheim Hills, California

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