Pasta Substitute

I love Italian food. I also love the American version of Italian food, and that’s really what this is about. In general, however, I’m hesitant about pinning my entire meal on a pasta base …

Enter: spaghetti squash.

It’s a beautiful vegetable, not in look, but in simplicity and dependability. It’s dead simple to cook (cut in half lengthwise, scrape seeds out with a spoon, put open end down on a baking sheet, stick in 375 degree oven for 30 minutes) and is basically zero weight watcher points. In real calories, I don’t know what that means, but it’s a vegetable, so eat up!

To get the squash to live up to its name, take one cooked half (careful, it’s HOT!) and scrape a fork into the flesh. You’ll end up with a whole mess of soft noodle-like strands. In today’s preparation, I went with marinara sauce, but I’ve enjoyed this many times with a gang of salsa on top. Simple, quick, healthy, and amazing with crumbled feta on top. (bonus recipe!!)

So, on to the real recipe:

1. Cook and fork-prepare squash
2. Brown (extra lean) ground beef with garlic
3. Add some marinara sauce (not a ton, because the squash is very moist) to the beef
4. Turn off the heat, and stir in the squash to the main pot with a handful of mozzarella and any veggies you might like
5. Transfer all to a casserole dish, and top with more cheese if you wish
6. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes
7. Serve and eat

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At this point, you’re going to want to toast some nice, hearty slices of bread, pour yourself a glass of red wine, and put on your favorite childhood movie. Or maybe that’s just me.

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