“Spaghetti” and Meatballs with Roasted Beets

by Kelly on October 9, 2009

Remember the Atkins craze? Eating bacon for dessert? The sudden and sad trend of lettuce wraps instead of burritos? I think this squash recipe may have been a part of that scene, which luckily seems to be coming to an end. I love my carbs and I’m not giving them up anytime soon, but it never hurts to cut back when you can. While the spaghetti squash in this recipe isn’t going to fool you into thinking you’re eating pasta,  I was able to get away with sending it to daycare as the starch in my son’s lunch — without any note home reminding me to send a balanced diet, including grains. Simply put, it’s a delicious vegetable dish with just a bit of pork to turn it into a main dish. And like most of my other recipes this week, it’s a nice way to use up your garden tomatoes, if you have any left.

“Spaghetti” and Meatballs
from Juan-Carlos Cruz at Food Network

Serves 6

1 large spaghetti squash
1/2 lb (225 g) spicy Italian turkey sausage links
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 cups (about 850 g) diced plum tomatoes
1/4 cup (100 g) Kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
1 tablespoon capers, drained
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 cup (15 g) fresh basil leaves, sliced
1/3 cup (30 g) grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).

Slice the spaghetti squash in half and place cut side down a baking sheet. Bake for 30 minutes or until tender when pierced with a knife.

Meanwhile, remove the sausage from its casings and form small meatballs about the size of a quarter. Heat a heavy nonstick pan over a medium-high heat and add the olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the meatballs and cook until browned on all sides. Add the tomatoes, olives, capers, and garlic and simmer for 15 minutes. In the last minute of cooking, add the basil.

While the sauce is simmering, scrape out the inside of the squash with a fork into a large bowl; set aside.

Toss the sauce and squash together and top with Parmesan. Serve immediately.

***

Roasted Beets

Serves 4

1 bunch beets, washed and trimmed
olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Preheat the oven to 415°F (210°C). Coat the washed and trimmed beets lightly with oil. Wrap the beets in aluminum foil, place on a baking sheet, and roast in the oven for about 1 hour, until cooked through. (I usually put 2 beets on each piece of foil.) Remove from the oven, let cool for 10 minutes, then peel and slice into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Butter or goat cheese are also good on top.

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