One of the questions I hear all the time when discussing my eating style is: “Don’t you miss pasta?” Well no, not really. What I always enjoyed about pasta dishes was the amazing flavors in the sauces. The pasta itself is pretty flavorless and is full of poor quality carbohydrates and problematic proteins. On the other hand, spaghetti squash has a subtly sweet flavor on it’s own, but it easily fills in for pasta underneath savory sauces. According to Fitday, one cup of cooked spaghetti has 219 calories and about 43 grams of carbs. Spaghetti squash has about 75 calories and 10 grams of carbs. Now we typically don’t obsess about haw many carbs we eat per day, on a Paleo/Primal style diet you usually fall within 100 grams give or take. My point is this – you can eat more nutrient dense sauce when served with the squash because you are not filling up on empty carbs from the pasta.
This sauce is hearty and filling. It has strong Italian flavors and it made the house smell amazing! We hope you decide to give spaghetti squash a try – you won’t be disappointed!
Spaghetti (Squash) with Meat Sauce
- 1 large spaghetti squash (See below for how to roast the squash.)
- 5 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 small or 1 large yellow onion, diced
- 3 carrots, peeled and diced
- 3 celery stalks, diced
- 10 ounce package of sliced baby portabella mushrooms
- 1 dried bay leaf
- 1 Tablespoon ghee or raw milk butter
- 2 pounds of pastured pork Italian sausage (You can substitute chicken or turkey sausage.)
- 1 pound of grass fed ground beef
- 28 ounce can of no salt added crushed tomatoes (We used Eden brand crushed tomatoes with basil. Eden does not use BPA in their cans.)
- 6 ounce can of tomato paste (We like Trader Joe’s brand.)
- 2 Tablespoons dried Italian herb blend
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon fennel seed, lightly crushed to release the flavors
- 1/4-1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
What to do:
In a large skillet, brown the sausage and ground beef. Drain off most of the liquid that is released. Place the meat to the side and prepare the vegetables. In a large Dutch oven or stock pot, melt the ghee or butter and add the garlic through the bay leaf. Saute the vegetables for 5-6 minutes or until slightly softened. Add the meat to the vegetable mixture and stir to combine. Add the crushed tomatoes and tomato puree to the meat and vegetables, stirring well to combine. Add in the dried herbs, sea salt, pepper, fennel seed, and crushed red pepper, stirring to combine. Bring the sauce to a simmer and then turn the heat down to low. Cover and let the sauce cook for 30-45 minutes, stirring every 5-10 minutes. Before serving the sauce, taste for seasoning and add more herbs or salt and pepper if needed.
Serve the sauce over a bed of roasted spaghetti squash. We promise you won’t miss the pasta!
Yield 6 servings.
How to Roast a Spaghetti Squash
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Wash and dry the spaghetti squash. Place the squash in a baking dish and place it in the oven. Roast it for 30 minutes and then using oven mitts, roll the squash over so the top is now on the bottom of the baking dish. Roast for another 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and let it cool for 15-20 minutes. Carefully cut the squash in half. We recommend using oven mitts and standing back – lots of hot steam will escape as soon as you cut into the squash. Clean out the seeds with a spoon. With a large fork, gently scrap out the squash into a serving dish. The squash will come apart into “noodles”!