Time to celebrate the long weekend – hopefully everyone has something fun planned for the holiday. In addition to the packing/moving prep, I hope to find time to go see Zero Dark Thirty – I’ve been wanting to see it for ages (like, since I first started seeing previews in the theater for it, soooo…six months?), and I’m practically bouncing around in my seat at the very idea of getting to see it this weekend.
(Because I’m four.)
Also cause for celebration and bouncing around in my chair? One of my favorite dishes: spaghetti squash with Bolognese sauce. This stuff is perfect for a cold winter’s night, and it’s easy to make.
I like to try and provide vegetarian and vegan options for most of the dishes I post here, simply because I know a lot of people are plant-based — and hey, I’m all about supporting people in their individual journeys to health!
A great way to make this a veg-friendly dish is to substitute the ground beef with 2 cans of cannellini beans. These little guys are an awesome source of plant-based protein, fiber, iron, and calcium, and they’ll make this dish even more filling.
Spaghetti Squash with Bolognese Sauce
What you’ll need:
- 1 onion, chopped
- 3 red peppers (preferably organic), chopped
- 2 tbs olive oil
- 1 tsp fennel seeds
- 7 cloves garlic, minced (I love garlic, so I used a lot – but if garlic isn’t your thing, you can scale this back to suit your tastes)
- 1 jar marinara sauce
- 1 tbs fresh chopped rosemary
- 2 tbs fresh chopped basil
- 1 lb. extra lean ground beef (I used 96% lean from Trader Joe’s) OR 2 cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 spaghetti squash
- Salt and pepper to taste
How to cook it up:
1) Pre-heat oven to 350.
2) Prep the spaghetti squash: cut it in half, scoop out the seeds, and set each half face-down in a casserole pan in about an inch of water.
3) In a heavy-bottomed sauce pan, saute the peppers, onions, and garlic in 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add the fennel seeds and stir regularly until the peppers are soft and the onions are transluscent.
4) At the same time, if you’re using ground beef, brown the beef in a separate pan.
5) Add the marinara sauce, rosemary, and basil to the peppers and onions. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
6) If using beef: Once the beef has been fully cooked, add it to the marinara sauce. If using cannellini beans: Drain and rinse the beans, and add them to the sauce. Let it simmer for another 10 minutes.
7) Remove the spaghetti squash from the oven – you’ll know it’s ready when you can easily puncture the exterior with a fork.
8) Using a fork, remove the stringy, spaghetti-like flesh from the inside of the squash, and plate ‘er up.
9) Top with sauce and, optionally, parmesan cheese. Enjoy, and stay warm!