Turkey Meatballs with Spaghetti Squash
Sometimes we just need to lighten things up a bit, but we still want them to taste good. These turkey meatballs are leaner than beef, yet are little flavor bombs that remain super moist. Yes, I said moist. And I'm not one to always sub in spaghetti squash in place of pasta, but during the holiday season when I'm looking to chow down on a giant plate of carbs, but there are cocktails and cheese plates every where I turn, spaghetti squash is where it's at. I won't try to tell you that this tastes EXACTLY LIKE SPAGHETTI! But I will tell you it's pretty delicious and you'll love it way it tastes when it hits your lips - but won't miss the carbo-bloat on your hips.
Yields 4 servings
2-3lb Spaghetti Squash Olive oil, butter or ghee 1lb Ground Turkey (I like 93% lean) 1/2 cup bread crumbs (I used Ian’s GF panko) 1 egg 1/3 cup minced onion 2 minced garlic cloves 1 tsp Worcestershire 1/2 tsp dried Oregano 1/2 tsp dried basil
1/4 cup olive oil 15oz can diced tomatoes, drained
24-28oz jar of your favorite tomato sauce (I used Trader Joes Marinara with Barolo Wine) Salt, pepper and garlic powder for seasoning
Crushed red pepper flakes & Parmesan cheese for serving
Preheat oven to 400. Half and de-seed squash (look this up on the interwebs if you don't know how). Rub the inside of the squash with olive oil, butter or ghee. Season with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Place cut side down on a baking sheet prepped with cooking spray or coated with a little olive oil. Place in oven and roast for 30-45 minutes or until you pierce the skin and it is tender. Don't freak out, sometimes it takes longer than 45 minutes. And if it does, you're not doing anything wrong.
Meanwhile, In a large bowl, combine ground turkey, bread crumbs, onion, egg, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, basil, oregano,1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Using a strong spatula, or your hands (which I prefer and makes for better meatballs. Give it a try. I promise if you wash your hands well and skip eating the raw turkey you won't get some sort of horrible raw meat infection) mix together the ingredients. Shape into 1-inch balls. You should have about 20-24.
Heat the olive oil in a heavy bottom large heavy-bottomed pot. We will use the same pot to cook our sauce. Brown the meatballs in batches on all sides. Don't worry, we will finish cooking the meatballs later. Once the meatballs are browned, set them aside. DO NOT RINCE THE POT! Turn the heat down to medium/low In the same heavy bottomed pot, add the drained can of diced tomatoes and stir around real well to deglaze the pot. Then add your fave can of tomato sauce. Feel free to doctor it up with extra garlic, add some onion, a little salt - you do you.
Once the sauce is heated add the meatballs into the sauce and cover. Reduce the heat so that only a small simmer is happening and allow the balls and sauce to work their magic for about 20-30mins. Make sure the sauce doesn't boil or else you're going to be left with bitter sauce and rubber balls. No one wants that.
Right about now your spaghetti squash should be finishing up. Remove from oven and let cool for a few minutes. Then scrape the squash into a colander and let it hang out for a few minutes to allow some water to drain.
Take a meatball out from the pot and cut into to make sure it's not pink in the middle.
Plate spaghetti squash, top with a few meatballs and some sauce. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and crushed red pepper flakes. Dinner is served, my friends.