As we (slowly) transition into fall, we’ve been excited to see winter squash popping up in our CSA box and at our local markets. We love our summer squash, but are really looking forward to incorporating more butternut, delicata, and of course spaghetti squash into our weekly recipe routine.
There is no more logical place to start than with a classic spaghetti recipe. We both love a good bolognese, but many recipes out there aren’t very healthy and can overdo it on the cheese, pasta, and cream. We created this lighter version with just the basics; making it veggie-forward and incorporating spices to bring on the flavor.
Another bonus of this dish is that you’ll end up with a lot of food. So you can either serve it as an easy dinner party option or just use it as part of your meal prep to create lots of dinners to eat all week.
It’s important to us to find quality sourced meat, and found some great organic grass-fed ground beef at Whole Foods that inspired this recipe. However, we’ve read up on how Costco sources their meat and will be purchasing it there next time since it’s much cheaper. Costco has strict regulations on their meat quality, so as long as you’re willing to buy a few pounds at a time you can get good organic quality for a great price.
Here’s the method we followed, but we are always curious if you have other ideas or recipes for a similar dish. If you do, please share with us in the comments!
First step is to get the sauce going on the stove, browning the meat, deglazing with some red wine, then adding all the tomatoes and spices for the sauce so it can simmer for about an hour.
While the sauce simmers, slice the squash and roast it in the oven, cut side down. Many recipes call for doing this in an inch of water but we just rubbed ours with a little olive oil and roasted it directly on parchment paper. Once it’s roasted, just use a fork to scrape out the insides creating your “spaghetti.”
The final product is so hearty and delicious. Sneaking in extra veggies has never been so easy!
Spaghetti Squash Bolognese Recipe:
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 large carrots, peeled and diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1lb organic, grass-fed ground beef
- 1 28 oz can diced tomatoes
- 1/2 cup red wine
- 1 can tomato paste
- 2 tsp oregano
- 1 tsp thyme
- Pinch of red pepper flakes
- 1 bay leaf
- Salt and pepper
- 2 tbsp chopped fresh basil + extra to top
- Shredded parmesan
- 1 spaghetti squash
- 1 tsp olive oil
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper for the squash.
To make the sauce, heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat and add onion. Cook for about 10 minutes until soft. Add carrots and cook for another 2 minutes; then add the garlic and ground beef to the pot with a little salt and pepper. Brown the beef on all sides, stirring constantly and breaking it up into smaller pieces. Once the meat is browned, drain any excess fat, then add the wine to deglaze the pan and stir until it is mostly evaporated.
Add the cans of diced tomatoes, tomato paste, and all spices. Bring the mixture to a boil, then turn down the heat, cover and simmer for 45 minutes to an hour, until thickened. Add more salt and pepper as needed to taste. In the last minute of cooking, stir in 2 tbsp of the chopped basil
While the sauce is simmering, wash the spaghetti squash and slice it in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds, then rub the cut sides of the squash with olive oil and place the two halves facedown on the baking sheet. Roast the squash in the oven for about 45 minutes to an hour until the flesh starts to come apart easily with a fork. When the squash is done, flip it over and scrape the insides with a fork creating your “noodles,” and set them aside in a bowl.
To serve, add about 3/4 cup of spaghetti squash to each bowl, and top with a scoop of bolognese sauce. Top with a little shredded parmesan and basil. Enjoy!
If you’re looking for a more traditional bolognese recipe, we’ve also made Ina’s which is pretty tasty (though not as healthy) 🙂