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

Comments

  1. Meaghan Coco says:

    Loved this recipe! I made it last night, and I am looking forward to lunch when I get to have it again as leftovers. Luke and I were so impressed that the sauce and meatballs were so delicious. We were also thoroughly surprised that you really could not tell that it was served over squash instead of the usual pasta. Thanks for all the great recipes Becca! Keep them coming please :)

    • Hey Meaghan! Thank you for leaving such a sweet comment! So glad you and Luke not only tried the spaghetti squash and meatballs, but that you liked it! I promise to keep the hump day treats coming!

      XO,
      Rebecca