Craving a hearty bowl of pasta but don’t want to break the calorie bank? This recipe has your back. Spaghetti squash, when baked, turns into perfect low-cal noodles, making an ideal vehicle for melty cheese and meaty sauce. Make up a double batch of this recipe to freeze and enjoy when you’re short on time.
By Elizabeth Palmer Califano
Serves 2 generously
Total Time: 45 minutes
- 1 spaghetti squash, cut in ½ lengthwise, seeds removed
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 teaspoon ground oregano
- ½ pound extra lean ground beef (ideally grass-fed)
- 1 28 oz. can diced tomatoes
- ½ cup red wine (optional)
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
- ½ cup ricotta cheese
- 2-4 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
- 2-4 tablespoons shredded mozzarella cheese
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. On a baking sheet, drizzle 1 tablespoon olive oil, and a pinch of salt and pepper over each squash half. Rub the oil and seasoning evenly over each half, and arrange them cut side down and not touching. Roast for 30-40 minutes, until tender.
- While the squash roasts, make the sauce. In a sauté pan, heat the remaining tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic, and cook for 3-4 minutes, until starting to soften and caramelize. Add the ground beef, and break it up while you stir everything to combine. Add the wine and tomatoes, and the oregano, and stir well to combine.
- Bring the sauce up to a boil, then lower to barely a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 15-20 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add the basil, and turn off the heat while the squash finishes cooking.
- When the squash is done, use a fork to scrape up a bit of the “spaghetti” on the inside. It should separate easily. Stir 1 tablespoon of ricotta cheese and 1 tablespoon of parmesan cheese into each squash bowl. Top with the prepared sauce, and sprinkle mozzarella and parmesan on top of that if desired.
- Bake in the oven for 2-3 more minutes until the cheese is melted and bubbly. Broil for 1-2 minutes if a crispier finish is desired. Enjoy!