Thursday, September 24, 2009

Spaghetti Squash and Meatballs

Spaghetti Squash still remains a slight mystery to me. I am intrigued by it. I love the idea of it....using a fork and scraping it into spaghetti like strands. It's just fun to do. However, I have yet to do it so that it is tender and not somewhat crunchy. Thankfully (or maybe not, maybe if I got more I'd have figured it out) I only get about one spaghetti squash a year. This year, I thought I would bury it under a large mound of sauce and meatballs.

I tried a different recipe this year for cooking the squash from It was cool, it had a step by step slide show and everything. However, I ended up with crunchy spaghetti squash again--despite baking it at 375 for an hour and then, in desperation, microwaving it for 12 minutes (covered with a bit of water in hopes of steaming it). The meatballs and sauce were absolutely awesome. M only ate the squash when we told her it was the only way she would get more meatballs. I think Curtis and I tolerated the squash and J loved the meatballs.

That said, I am not giving directions on how to prepare spaghetti squash because I consider it a failure. Maybe I am under the wrong impression and it never actually gets soft.

For yet another year, spaghetti squash remains a mystery.

Sauce with Meatballs
from Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook

1 c onion, chopped
1/2 c green bell pepper, chopped
1/4 c celery, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 T olive oil
4 c tomatoes, chopped (or 1-28 oz canned diced tomatoes)
1 (6-oz) can tomato paste
1/3 c water
1 t salt
1/2 t black pepper
2 T fresh parsley, chopped
1 t dried oregano
1 t sugar
1 T fresh basil, chopped

1 egg
3/4 c bread crumbs
1/4 c onions, finely chopped
2 T green bell pepper, finely chopped
1/4 t dried oregano
1/4 t salt
1 lb ground beef

For the sauce: In a Dutch oven, saute the onion, bell pepper, celery and garlic in hot oil over medium heat until vegetables are tender. Stir in tomatoes, tomato paste, parsley, oregano, sugar, salt, and black pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes. Uncover and simmer for 10 - 15 minutes or to desired consistency.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl combine egg, bread crumbs, onions, green bell pepper, oregano, and salt. Add the ground beef and mix well. Shape into 16 - 24 meatballs (depending on desired size). Arrange meatballs on a cookie sheet. Bake in a preheated 350 degrees oven for 15 - 20 minutes or until done. Stir meatballs into sauce. Add fresh basil. Serve hot on top of pasta.


Jen Verde said...

Spaghetti squash does have a slight crunch - even when it is fully cooked. I think you're probably doing it right.

Melani said...

Good to know it's not just me.... :)

Kate G. said...

I'll second Jen. We called it crunchy noodles as a kid. I like it plain with pesto or a little butter and parmesan. That's how my mom made it when we were kids.

Tracy Novinger said...

I really like spaghetti squash with tomato-meat sauce. My method is to halve it, place it flesh side down in a baking dish with 1/3-1/2" water and bake at 375F for 1 1/2 hours (maybe that's what you do). Results good but not totally consistent, so maybe all spaghetti squashes are not created equal. Sometimes too "tough". I wonder if the maturity when harvested affects texture.