Search Results for: spaghetti squash

hump day treat: spaghetti & meatballs

It’s hump day here again at Bitsy & Boo! Today’s treat: spaghetti squash and meatballs. I’ve always loved this classic dish, but I don’t love the high carb count associated with it, so I decided to switch out traditional pasta for spaghetti squash.

Compared to traditional pasta, with its 221 calories and 43 g of carbs per cup, spaghetti squash rings in at only 42 calories and 10 g of carbs per cup. It’s also much more nutritious; and while the texture may be slightly different from traditional pasta, you CANNOT taste a difference between the two. I prepared this dish for my parents when I stayed with them during Hurricane Isaac and even they admitted that they would’ve never known it was spaghetti squash unless I had told them.

Obviously, traditional pasta will taste delicious with these meatballs, but I highly recommend the spaghetti squash substitution to anyone who likes to maintain a low daily carb intake (I at least try to on weekdays…weekends are another story altogether). Anyway, I hope you enjoy this savory treat. Happy hump day!

Ingredients:

For the meatballs:

  • 1 cup fresh bread crumbs
  • 3/4 cup Parmesan, grated
  • 1/2 cup whole milk*
  • 1/2 cup beef broth
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 3 eggs, beaten*
  • 2 T. dried oregano leaves
  • 1 T. garlic, minced
  • 2 t. dried basil leaves
  • 1 t. ground black pepper
  • 1/4 t. red pepper flakes
  • 2 lb. ground sirloin

*Looking for other ways to make this dish lighter? Try using 1 whole egg and 2 egg whites–this’ll hold the meatballs just fine. Also substitute skim milk for whole. 

For the marinara:

  • 3 lb. fresh Roma tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 cup onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 2 t. sugar
  • 2 t. kosher salt
  • 1/4 t. red pepper flakes
  • 1 t. ground black pepper
  • 2 T. chopped fresh basil

Directions:

Makes 8 servings

Preheat oven to 425°F.

Mix all the ingredients for the meatballs (except sirloin) together in a large bowl.

Add ground sirloin and combine thoroughly; set aside.

Combine all ingredients for the marinara (except fresh basil) in a large baking dish, sprinkling the seasonings over the top of the chopped tomato and onion mixture.

Shape meat mixture into 2 oz. balls (about the size of a golf ball).

Arrange on tomato and onion mixture in baking dish and roast 40-45 minutes.

Serve over pasta or spaghetti squash. For pasta, simply follow package directions. Here are directions for making spaghetti squash:

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Pierce squash several times with a fork around its exterior.

Bake for 40-50 minutes, flipping halfway through cooking.

Cut in half lengthwise, hollow out seeds, and slowly shred squash into a bowl using a large fork.

*Recipe adapted from Cuisine At Home’s Perfect Pasta Cookbook, http://www.cuisineathomespecials.com/.

Quote of the day:

“The words of the tongue should have three gatekeepers: Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary?” –Arabian Proverb

hump day treat: bolognese

Spaghetti Bolognese ingredients

Spaghetti Bolognese ingredients

Spaghetti Bolognese

Spaghetti Bolognese

Bolognese sauce =  delicious, comforting yummyness. The taste is complex and impressive enough to serve to guests, but it also hearkens to the spaghetti sauce of your childhood. I really hope you enjoy this hump day treat!

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound chuck or lean ground beef (lean ground beef is the lighter option)
  • ½ pound bulk Italian sausage
  • ½ cup onion, chopped
  • ½ cup celery, chopped
  • ½ cup carrot, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, chopped
  • 1 can whole tomatoes (28 ounces)
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • ¼ cup tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil leaves
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
  • ½ cup mascarpone
  • 1 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Brown the ground meat and sausage in oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat

Drain the fat and return to pan

Mince the onion, celery, carrot and garlic in a food processor.

Add to browned meat and cook until vegetables soften, about 5 minutes

Stir in the tomatoes, wine, milk, tomato paste, vinegar and seasonings; reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.

If you are serving the Bolognese over pasta, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook pasta (pasta of your preference) according to package directions while sauce simmers.

If you are serving the Bolognese over spaghetti squash (like I did), click here for directions on how to cook spaghetti squash.

Finish the sauce with mascarpone, parsley, salt and pepper.

Serve over cooked pasta or spaghetti squash.

Quote of the day:

“We are what we repeatedly do.” – Aristotle

hump day treat

Happy hump day, lovelies! Italian sausage and red bell pepper is one of those solidified, unmistakable food duos that can’t be compromised. Like other combinations that have stood the test of time (think PB&J), Italian sausage and red bell pepper may be adapted for various dishes without compromising the ingredients’ basic goodness. This dish below is a great example of that. With a few spices and some whipping cream, you have a delicious sauce, where the crunchy sweetness of the bell pepper and robust taste of sausage are the main event. You can toss the finished sauce in traditional pasta, or you can do like I did, and sub in spaghetti squash. For instructions on how to prepare spaghetti squash, click here. I hope you enjoy!

Italian Sausage Pasta copy

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound Italian sausage, casing removed and crumbled
  • ½ cup diced onion
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ cup diced red bell pepper
  • 1½ cups whipping cream
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 12 ounces of pasta of your choice (or, in my case, spaghetti squash)
  • freshly grated Parmesan
  • chopped fresh parsley (for garnish at the end)

Directions

Makes 4 servings

Heat oil in heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and saute until golden, about 1 minute.

Mix in sausage and cook until brown, about 8 minutes.

Add peppers and onion and cook until almost tender, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes.

Add salt, pepper, basil and oregano.

Cover and simmer 8 minutes. Uncover and cook 2 minutes.

In the meantime, cook pasta according to package directions.

Pour finished sauce over pasta (or spaghetti squash) and toss.

Top with freshly grated Parmesan and parsley and serve.

*Recipe adapted from food.com

 Quote of the day:

“Before you act, listen. Before you react, think. Before you spend, earn. Before you criticize, wait. Before you pray, forgive. Before you quit, try.” –Ernest Hemingway