Thursday, January 7, 2010

Spaghetti Squash and Meatballs

A lightened version of the Italian classic, this dish boasts much lower fat and carbs but still finds those comfort and enjoyment levels we are all seeking. Spaghetti squash is an oblong shaped hard winter squash with a mild, slightly sweet flavor. Combined with the fresh taste of a good marinara sauce, it is outstanding. Add my little turkey meatballs packed with garlic and herbs, kept moist with a touch of olive oil, and you have a complete and delicious meal that is absolutely divine. How else could you enjoy a wonderful plate of spaghetti and meatballs for dinner for a guilt free total of 13.9 grams of net carbs? I hope you enjoy.

Spaghetti Squash and Meatballs


4 cups roasted spaghetti squash, yield from 2 to 2 1/4 lb. squash
1 1/4 lb. lean ground turkey
1 large egg
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1 Tbsp. fresh basil, chopped (or 1 tsp. dried basil)
2 Tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 1/2 Tbsp. Parmesan cheese, grated
2 tsp. olive oil
2 cups Mario Batali Marinara Sauce (or other low carb sauce)
salt and pepper
vegetable spray

Preheat oven to 400'

If the squash was not already cut when purchased then carefully make a lengthwise cut. Remove the seeds with a spoon and puncture the skin side a few times with knife to prevent bursting while cooking. Drizzle one teaspoon of the olive oil on the flesh and rub in. Season with salt and pepper if desired. Place cut side down on a sheet pan and roast until tender, about 45 to 50 minutes or until a knife can pierce the skin side and come out easily. Remove, cover with aluminum foil and set aside. This step can be done in advance if desired and the cooled squash stored in the refrigerator up to 3 days and you can have a weeknight dinner on the table in about 30 minutes.

Reduce oven temperature to 350'

Place ground turkey in a large bowl and add all of the ingredients except the marinara sauce. Blend until well combined with a fork to keep it light and fluffy. Form meatballs that are about 1 1/2" in diameter. This should yield 24 meatballs. Lightly coat a sheet pan with vegetable spray and arrange meatballs on pan. Bake for about 15 to 20 minutes, taking care not to dry them out.

While the meatballs are baking shred the spaghetti squash with a fork by gently raking the fork from end to end. The fork will separate the strands of squash very easily. Warm the marinara sauce on medium low heat until hot and bubbly. To serve place 1 cup of spaghetti squash on each plate topped with 1/2 cup sauce and 6 meatballs.

Nutrition Facts
4 Servings
Amount Per Serving
Calories 329.4
Total Fat 16.9 g
Saturated Fat 4.4 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.6 g
Monounsaturated Fat 2.4 g
Cholesterol 135.6 mg
Sodium 663.3 mg
Potassium 225.6 mg
Total Carbohydrate 17.3 g
Dietary Fiber 3.4 g
Sugars 7.0 g
Protein 29.1 g

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