Monday, July 11, 2011

Friday: "Spaghetti" with Bolognese sauce

Pin It Now! Gazing into my freezer I noticed a bag of homemade marinara sauce and a pound of ground beef.  Perfect...pasta night!  Then I thought, maybe I can get more creative.  Instead of regular ol' noodles, I'll cook up some spaghetti squash instead.  Adding a power punch of veggie goodness.
If you've been following my blog, you'll see that I've cooked spaghetti squash quite a few times and I've never been disappointed.  (and my girls have never turned it down, though, they think it's just some kind of special noodle)  ;)  
This is a total "fly by the seat of my pants" recipe.  And totally off track from my usual "follow the recipe" method.  So, if you make this, I'd love to hear your thoughts and any tweaks you may have tried.  Happy cooking!  :)

1 large spaghetti squash cut in half
2 Tbs olive oil
1 small onion diced
3 garlic cloves minced
1 large carrot minced
1 stalk celery minced
1 lb lean ground beef
1 jar of your fave spaghetti sauce (or try homemade using the recipe found here: Homemade Marinara)
1 bay leaf
1 Tbs fresh basil, chopped
1 Tbs fresh thyme, chopped
Mozzarella cheese

Prepare the squash:
Bring a large pot of water to boiling over high heat.  Place the squash in the boiling water for 10-15 minutes. (if it's a very large squash, you may need to go longer)
Scoop out the seeds and then using a fork, scrape at the flesh of the squash to create the spaghetti-like strands, cover to keep warm and set aside.

For the sauce:
Heat oil in a dutch oven over moderate heat.  Add the shallots, onion, garlic, celery, and carrots and saute until tender and a little browned.  Remove from pot with slotted spoon.
Add ground beef to the pan and cook until nicely browned (should take around 15-20 minutes)

Stir the veggie mixture back in with the meat.  Next, add your sauce, bay leaf, basil and thyme.  Bring to a boil and then lower the heat.  Simmer uncovered for an hour or two (depending on your time constraints)  If your sauce seems too thick for your liking, you can thin it with a little red wine, chicken broth or extra sauce.
Season to taste with salt.

Spoon reserved squash into bowls.  Top with sauce and mozzarella cheese.  Dig in!  :)

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