Recipe Test # 1 of 3 - Saucy Spaghetti Squash

     Vangie and Steve Henry dropped off three spaghetti squash from their bountiful garden and so we are testing new recipes. Even going to try cooking the spaghetti squash in three different ways . . . with reports to follow, along with all three recipes. (For final results, click here.
     At just 37 calories per four-ounce serving, spaghetti squash is a dieter's dream. Use this veggie in place of pasta for a low carb meal.

Saucy Spaghetti Squash    About 4 to 6 servings
1 small spaghetti squash – this one will be cooked whole
1 lb. lean ground beef
1 small to medium onion, minced
2 to 3 cloves garlic, minced
¼ cup red wine
1 (28 oz.) can crushed tomatoes
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
     (Note – if fresh herbs are not available, substitute dried Italian seasoning)
Salt and pepper to taste
Parmesan for grating over the top

1.     Prick the spaghetti squash all over with a skewer (or a meat fork) so it will not burst when baking. Place the whole squash in a shallow baking dish. Bake for 1 hour in a preheated 375° oven.

2.     Add ground beef to a hot skillet and cook until partly brown. Add onion and cook until tender, adding minced garlic near end of browning. When browned, add red wine and cook to until almost dissolved. Add tomatoes and herbs; season with salt and pepper to taste. Turn to low heat and simmer sauce about 20 minutes to further develop the flavor.
3.     To finish spaghetti squash . . . when cool enough to handle, cut in half lengthwise with a serrated knife.
Scoop the seeds and fibrous strings from the center of the squash.

Use the tines of a kitchen fork to gently scrape around the edge of the spaghetti squash to shred the pulp into strands.

4.     Place a helping of cooked spaghetti squash on plate, top with meat sauce and grate fresh Parmesan over the top.

Nutritional Analysis per serving (103 g): Calories 159, Fat 6.1g (Saturated Fat 2g, Cholesterol 44mg), Sodium 344mg, Carbohydrate 28.7g (Fiber 4.8g, 8.1Sugars g) Protein 27.9g, Vit A 31%, Calcium 14%, Vit C 28%, 31Iron %.

Buying & Storing
 When buying spaghetti squash, look for hard fruit that is heavy for its size, about eight to nine inches in length and four to five inches in diameter and with a pale, even color. Avoid any squash with soft spots and green color is a sign of immaturity. The average four-pound spaghetti squash will yield about five cups.
Spaghetti Squash can be stored at room temperature for about a month. After cutting, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate up to 2 days. Spaghetti squash also freezes well. Pack cooked squash into freezer bags, seal, label and freeze. Partially thaw before re-using, From . . . + other related information as well.

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