Contrary to popular belief, going low-carb doesn’t mean you have to give up all your favorite pasta dishes. You just need to be a bit creative. And when it comes to anything spaghetti-based, Mother Nature has your back with the aptly-named spaghetti squash. At less than 300 calories and less than a third of the carbs in traditional spaghetti, this dish will still satisfy your inner pasta-lover.
Spaghetti (squash) with Meat Sauce
- 1 large or 2 small-to-medium spaghetti squash
- 1 pound hamburger
- ¼ t oregano
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1 T basil
- 1 10-12 oz. can tomato paste
- 1 15-oz. can diced tomatoes
- 2 C water
Cut the squash in half lengthwise. (If the squash still has a stem attached, use a knife to remove this first.) Note: spaghetti squash, like all winter squash varieties, are extremely hard. Take care when cutting!
Lay the squash halves, cut side down, in the baking dish and add ½ inch water.
Bake at 375° for 30-45 minutes, until soft and easily pierced with a fork. Remove from oven and set aside to cool. While the squash is baking, make the meat sauce as follows:
Peel and crush the garlic cloves. Crumble the hamburger into the saucepan and cook on high heat, stirring often, till hamburger is thoroughly browned. (Use your wooden spoon to break the meat up into smaller pieces as necessary.) Reduce heat to medium and add diced tomatoes, basil, and oregano. Stir well.
Add the tomato paste, water, garlic, and a dash of salt; make sure the tomato paste is thoroughly incorporated and reduce heat to a low simmer. Cook, stirring often to prevent sticking, for 15-20 minutes or until sauce is thick. (As the sauce thickens, you will need to stir ever more often and you may have to reduce heat even more.) When sauce reaches the desired thickness, remove from heat.
When the squash is cool enough to handle, pour the water out of the baking dish. Use the serving spoon to scrape the flesh out of the shell and into the mixing bowl. Well-done spaghetti squash should be slightly translucent and resemble strands of spaghetti — hence its name.
Divide the squash into four equal portions and top with ¼ of the meat sauce.