Me without pasta is never going to happen, but in the spirit of eating more whole foods, I decided to take a stab at using spaghetti squash in place of my normal whole wheat noodles. As an Italian girl, I’ll be honest: I wasn’t holding out much hope.
I’ve used spaghetti squash before, but I have never found a red sauce that I liked with it…until now.
Because of the nature of spaghetti squash, I knew that I needed to create a sauce that had some depth of flavor and wasn’t terribly sweet (I can’t be the only one who thinks that spaghetti squash is sweet, right?).
I’ve tried traditional marinara (too watery), pesto (absolutely wonderful), and even a version of alfredo sauce (total failure). Tonight, I thought I’d attempt a Bolognese…veggie-style.
The good news?
It turned out GREAT.
The bad news?
There aren’t any leftovers.
Spaghetti Squash Bolognese
- 1 medium to large spaghetti squash
- 1 tablespoon grapeseed or coconut oil
- 1 pound high-quality Italian Sausage
- 1/4 cup finely chopped parsley
- 2 Tablespoons tomato paste
- 4 cloves of garlic, pressed, divided
- 1/2 an onion, copped
- 2 carrots, chopped or grated
- 2 stalks of celery, chopped
- 1/2 cup sundried tomatoes in oil, chopped
- 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup (just trust me)
- 1 lemon, zested and juiced
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- Fresh Parmesan (optional as garnish)
- I’ve also heard that you can microwave your spaghetti squash to save time, though I have not tried this personally.
- First, preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Grab a really sharp knife or cleaver. Cut your spaghetti squash in half, lengthwise, and remove seeds.
- Place your squash cut side down into a glass baking dish, adding enough water to just cover the bottom of the dish. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until easily pierced by a fork. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly.
Make Your Bolognese
- Veggie Tip: Traditionally, a Bolognese is a meat-based sauce, but, if you are a vegetarian, you can sub smashed cannelini beans for the meat!
- While your squash is baking, make your sauce: heat a large, deep pan or dutch oven over medium heat, and add your oil. While the pan is heating, combine the next 3 ingredients in a small bowl, with 1/2 the garlic, 1 teaspoon coriander, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Mix it all together, and set aside.
- Once your oil is hot, add your meat “mix” and begin to brown. Once you’ve reached that delicious golden brown state with your meat, add in your onions, celery, and carrots.
- Saute for an additional 2-3 minutes, or until fragrant. Add the sun-dried tomatoes and remaining garlic, then sauté for a minute more.
- Add remaining ingredients and bring to a simmer, then reduce heat. Cover and allow your sauce to simmer together for 15 minutes.
- If you don’t have crushed tomatoes, you can use whole Italian peel tomatoes and smash them once they’ve simmered with a potato masher!
Assemble Your Meal
- To serve, scrape the inside of your spaghetti squash with a fork lengthwise to produce long ‘spaghetti’ noodles. Divide evenly among 4 pasta bowls. Top with your Bolognese sauce, and garnish with a sprinkle of fresh parmesan if you like.
Spaghetti squash is so very versatile. This has to be one of my favorite preparations, but it can also be used to make this Paleo Pizza Casserole, which , if you haven’t tried, you must. Tomorrow. After you make this bolognese, of course! You did buy two….
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