Thursday, March 31, 2011

Spaghetti Squash Ragu

There is no pasta allowed on the paleo diet since pasta is grain-based. But there is a substitute: spaghetti squash. I’ve never made it before, and it’s a real experience to cook it for the first time. I made mine in the microwave – fast and easy. I couldn’t figure out how a whole squash that looks basically like a pumpkin inside could come out in strands of spaghetti. But OMG, it does.

1 small spaghetti squash
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ cup minced onion
½ cup minced bell pepper
3 cloves garlic, minced
12 ounces ground turkey or beef
32 oz. can crushed tomatoes
3 tablespoons red wine
2 teaspoons minced fresh oregano
2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
2 teaspoons capers (optional)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
Sea salt and pepper

To cook squash:

Cut squash in half lengthwise. Remove seeds and membrane fibers. Place squash in a glass dish, cut sides down, and add about an inch of water to dish. Cover with plastic wrap. Microwave on high for about 8-10 minutes, checking for tenderness halfway through. Squash should pierce easily with a knife. Remove the squash and cool slightly. Then, with a fork, scrape the insides of the squash, removing the spaghetti-like strands. (You will get quite a bit of “spaghetti” from one squash.)

To make ragu:
Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, bell pepper, and minced garlic and sauté for several minutes. Add the meat and cook until browned. Drain off any excess fat. Add the tomatoes, wine, oregano and red pepper flakes, and simmer for half an hour. Add the capers and basil and simmer for 10 minutes longer. Season with salt and pepper. 

Place a serving of squash in a bowl and top with some ragu sauce.


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