Savoring Fall: Spaghetti Squash & Meatballs Extravaganza

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As autumn paints the world in warm hues, it’s time to dive into the heart of the pumpkin patch and discover the culinary magic that is spaghetti squash. While we adore classic pumpkin delights, the spaghetti squash adds a playful twist to fall feasting, especially when paired with mouthwatering, juicy meatballs.

Picture this: a symphony of flavors and textures as tender meatballs meet the delicate, noodle-like strands of spaghetti squash. It’s a culinary match made in autumn heaven that elevates your taste buds and celebrates the season’s bounty.

The spaghetti squash, affectionately known as the “spaghetti pumpkin,” takes center stage with its mild, slightly nutty flavor and satisfying crunch. Its unique cylindrical form, measuring 13 to 16 centimeters at the waist and stretching 20 to 30 centimeters long, sets the scene for a truly special dining experience.

Cooking up this fall feast is a breeze. Whether you opt for roasting in the oven or boiling the squash whole, it effortlessly transforms into a base that cradles the savory goodness of meatballs. With a simple fork, unveiling the spaghetti-like strands ready to mingle with perfectly seasoned meatballs. Tossed in a bit of olive oil, adorned with fresh thyme, and sprinkled with a touch of salt, this low-carb alternative becomes a culinary masterpiece.

Whether you’re a kitchen maestro or an aspiring chef, let this dynamic duo bring the taste of fall to your table. So, grab a squash, roll up your sleeves, and embark on a culinary journey that captures the essence of autumn—one delectable meatball at a time.

Spaghetti Squash with Meatballs

Total Time 45 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Mediterranean
Servings 2

Equipment

  • 1 Baking sheet lined with parchment paper
  • Oven preheated to 180°C, convection on
  • 1 Chopping knife and board
  • 1 Mixing bowl
  • 1 Saucepan
  • 1 Spoon and fork
  • 1 Small frying pan

Ingredients
  

  • 1 Spaghetti squash medium sized
  • 500 g half and half minced meat
  • 2 shallots
  • 1 organic lemon
  • 1 bunch fresh thyme
  • 1-2 clove garlic
  • 1 tsp sweet paprika
  • 1 pinch smoked paprika
  • Salt 'n pepper
  • 500 ml Fruity chopped tomatoes ideally cherry tomatoes
  • 1 handfull dried porcini mushrooms
  • 1 splash Red wine dry and rich
  • 1 handfull pine nuts
  • Parmesan cheese finely grated
  • Olive oil

Instructions
 

  • Cooking the squash:
    Preheat the oven to 180°C with convection on. Line your baking sheet with parchment paper.
    Halve the Spaghetti Squash, placing one half with the cut side down on the baking sheet. Bake for approximately 30 minutes or until the squash yields when lightly pressed.
    Once the squash is done, let it cool briefly, scoop out the seeds with a spoon. Use a fork to gently loosen the strands, the flesh should easily separate applying gentle pressure.
  • Prepping:
    While the squash is in the oven, prepare the sauce. Finely chop the onions and garlic. Pluck about 2 tablespoons of thyme leaves.
    Rehydrate the porcini mushrooms in a small bowl by pouring boiling water over them. Set aside.
  • Prepping the meat:
    In a bowl, mix the minced meat with half of the prepared onions, garlic, and thyme. Grate about 2 tablespoons of lemon zest into the mixture. Season generously with salt, pepper, and paprika. Set aside to marinate.
  • The sauce:
    In your pot, sauté the remaining onions and garlic in a little oil until translucent. Add 2-3 sprigs of thyme and sauté.
    Deglaze with a generous splash of red wine and let it simmer briefly. Strain the porcini mushrooms, reserving the liquid, and add them to the pot. Allow to simmer for about 5 minutes.
    Now, add the chopped tomatoes, season with salt and pepper, and let it simmer until it reaches a creamy consistency.
    Roughly chop the porcini mushrooms and mix them into the sauce.
  • The meatballs:
    Form small meatballs from the marinated minced meat and place them in the sauce. Let them simmer for about 15 minutes or until the meatballs are cooked through.
  • The garnish:
    Roast the pine nuts in a pan without oil until lightly browned and fragrant. Grate your parmesan cheese. Set both aside.
  • The finishing touch:
    Heat a splash of olive oil in your pan and add the plucked thyme leaves. Infuse for a few minutes or until fragrant.
    Toss the squash spaghetti in the infused oil and season with salt.
    Ensure the meatballs are fully cooked, season the sauce to your taste.
  • Plating:
    Serve the Spaghetti Squash on deep plates, top with three meatballs, ladle over the sauce, and garnish with pine nuts and grated Parmesan.

Pair your spaghetti squash up with any sauce you’d normally rock with spaghetti. The flesh brings a slight nutty vibe with a touch of fruitiness, making it a match made in heaven for bold, hearty sauces.

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