When cooked, spaghetti squash separates easily into long strands with a fork, resembling spaghetti; a squash half acts as its own edible bowl to fill with saucy meatballs or chunky sauce, top with cheese and bake, pasta-style.
2 small spaghetti squash
canola or olive oil, for cooking
salt and pepper, to taste
12 meatballs, raw or cooked
2 cups tomato sauce
1/2 cup ricotta (optional)
1 cup grated mozzarella
Preheat the oven to 400˚F. Cut the squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Rub with oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and roast on a baking sheet for 30 minutes, or until tender. (Alternatively, cover with microwave safe plastic wrap and microwave on high for 5–7 minutes, or until tender.)
If the meatballs are uncooked, brown them in a drizzle of oil in a skillet set over medium-high heat, then add the tomato sauce and simmer until they’re cooked through; alternatively, heat the cooked meatballs and tomato sauce. Put a spoonful of ricotta into each cooked squash half (if you like), top with a few meatballs and a spoonful of sauce, scatter with cheese and return to the oven for 10 minutes, or until the cheese melts. (Turn on the broiler for a minute if you want it golden.) Serves 4.
PER SERVING (recipe made with 1 lb lean beef meatballs): 485 calories, 21.8 g fat (9.9 g saturated fat, 10.3 g monounsaturated fat, 1.6 g polyunsaturated fat), 113 mg cholesterol, 26.7 g carbohydrate, 4.2 g protein, 5.2 g fibre.
Originally published in ParentsCanada magazine, Fall 2017.