Okay ladies and gents, I have been asked numerous times if I would post a typical weeknight supper recipe and despite my lack of enthusiasm for the word "meatball" I thought I would share one of our favorite weekly staples. This recipe utilizes one of Fall's most beloved treasures, the spaghetti squash. After a quick roast, all you need is a fork to scrape out these golden, spaghetti like fronds. Does it taste like pasta? No. Does it make an excellent and satisfying alternative to pasta? Indeed! And because spaghetti squash is less filling than traditional pasta, you can be generous with the meatballs...eek, can someone please come up with a better word?!
This recipe is a true gem in our house and if I do not have time to make the meat..um... orbs?... I will simply skip those steps and add the ground meat directly to the sauce.
I hope to have more of our "everyday" recipes to share with you soon! And may I say a very heartfelt thank you for all of your prayers and encouraging words over the last week. I feel them most ardently!
*Okay, this recipe has a handful of steps but I have ordered them in a way that I feel makes the best use of time, so don't skip ahead :)
- 2 3lb spaghetti squash, cut in half lengthwise, seeds removed
Preheat oven to 425F. Lay spaghetti squash cut side down on a foil lined baking sheet. Set aside.
MEATBALLS & SAUCE
- 2 TBS ghee/butter
- 1 yellow onion, finely chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 TBS dried fennel seed, chopped
- 1lb pastured ground beef
- 1lb pastured ground veal (if you can not find this use more beef)
- 1 cup finely grated Parmesan (use the real stuff!)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped
- 2 eggs
- 1 jar pasta sauce ( I like to use a 25.5oz jar from Lucini)
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1 cup pitted calamata olive, coarsely chopped (this are optional but please try if you like olives)
- parmesan to garnish
Heat 1 TBS ghee/butter in a large pot or dutch oven. Add the chopped onion and cook for two minutes. Add garlic and fennel seeds and cook for an additional minute. Transfer mixture to a small bowl and set aside to cool
In a medium sized bowl combine the ground meat, parmesan, salt, parsley, and eggs. Mix with spatula or clean hands. Add cooled onion mixture. DO NOT OVER MIX or your meat will have a gummy texture.
Using your hands roll about 1/4cup of mixture into a ball and set on a plate. Makes 18 balls.
Heat the remaining TBS of ghee/butter over medium in the same pot/dutch oven you used for the onion mixture. When hot carefully add the balls. (I did this in two batches) Cook each side for two minutes just to brown. Using a spatula or slotted spoon transfer meatballs to a paper towel lined plate or tray. Discard excess grease from pot/dutch oven.
Return pot/dutch oven to stove top and carefully add the meatballs. Add olives, pasta sauce and balsamic vinegar. Bring to simmer and place lid on pot. Simmer on low for 30 minutes.
Place the spaghetti squash into the preheated oven and roast for 30 minutes.
After the 30 minutes remove meatballs/sauce from heat. Take the spaghetti squash out of the oven and flip each half over to release the steam. Allow to cool for about 10 minutes.
Using a fork scrape the flesh of the spaghetti squash into noodles and scoop onto a plate or shallow bowl. Next add three meatballs with some sauce. Garnish with parmesan.