Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Spaghetti Squash Bolognese

We just got back from Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic. It was a vacation from paradise and I miss it so much! After the winter we've had, we were so looking forward to our tropical vacation in the Caribbean, and luckily it exceeded our expectations. The weather was in the 80's everyday and it only rained once, the ocean was crystal blue, the sand was as white and as soft as sugar, the Royalton Punta Cana was a stunning 5 star brand new resort, the staff and residents were so friendly and accommodating, the amenities were exceptional and the food and drinks were superb, especially for an all-inclusive. We had so much fun and made so many incredible memories, although there were a few "oh my gosh" types of memories that we'd like to forget! I'll explain more as I will be referencing our trip throughout the week in my posts.
Drinking coconut juice from freshly cut coconuts!
We needed the knife he used to cut open our squash!

As good as the food was at our resort, I couldn't wait to get back home to cook and eat homemade local foods. When I'm away for an extended period of time I reeeeally miss cooking. As soon as I left work today the first thing I did was run to the grocery store and shopped til I dropped. It was like I was shopping at the mall for a new outfit, that's how giddy I was. I even bought groceries for the next four days, which I NEVER do. I almost always grocery shop daily because that allows me to cook what I'm in the mood for that day. So today I couldn't help myself but buy tons of groceries because everything looked so good and I missed our local food so much. One of the many things I bought was spaghetti squash. It looked particularly good so I knew that would be on the menu tonight. I decided to make Spaghetti Squash with Turkey Bolognese. This recipe is actually pretty easy to make but it requires an hour of baking. You could microwave the squash, which cuts down on the cooking time, but I don't think it tastes as good as baking it. Baking it gives it a sweeter nuttier taste while microwaving it tastes a bit bland. The other thing to consider when making spaghetti squash is being very careful when cutting it in half. I'm always afraid I'm going to slice off a finger, so please use caution. Nate saw me struggling to cut the squash so he offered to help out by getting his sword, a plastic one of course. So I let him go all Conan Barbarian on it. It actually worked but part of the sword broke off in the squash, ewww I know. I've mentioned before that Dave grumps when I make healthy meals because he equates healthy with being non-satisfying. After he was halfway through eating his squash he said wow this is actually more filling than pasta. I was like shame on you for grumping. If you've never made spaghetti squash before give this recipe a try because it really tastes similar spaghetti, especially if you add marinara sauce to it. It's also a great alternative to pasta if you are trying to cut down on carbs or want something gluten free and it's a great vegetarian dish if you just add sauce and cheese. This recipe is delicious, healthy and satisfying. Salute to Spaghetti Squash Bolognese and back to cooking and eating local foods.
Cut in halves and scoop out seeds 
After baking for 45 minutes, rake with a fork and
make spaghetti like strands
Add the turkey bolognese sauce and mozzarella cheese and bake for 5 minutes until cheese melts
Serve in individual bowls and dig in!
Spaghetti Squash Bolognese (Click to print recipe)

Preparation and cook time 80 minutes

Serves 6


  • 3 medium sized spaghetti squash
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground turkey
  • 2 tb minced garlic
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1/2 t ground pepper
  • 1/2 t dried parsley
  • 1/2 t dried oregano
  • 1/2 t dried basil
  • 1 24 oz jar of tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • grated parmesan cheese for additional topping
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cut squash in half length wise. Scrape out seeds with a fork. Place squash on a baking sheet and cover with tin foil. Bake for 45 minutes until squash is tender when pierced with a fork and shell is semi-soft. Rake squash with a fork and make spaghetti like strands then add 2 tb of water to each half. Cover again and bake for another 10-15 minutes. While squash is baking in oven prepare turkey bolognese. In a medium sauté pan, add 2 tb olive oil and minced garlic, cook for 5 minutes over medium heat. Add turkey, salt and pepper and sauté until it's no longer pink and crumbled. Add milk and cook for 5 minutes then add jarred sauce, parsley, oregano and basil. Stir well and let cook on low to medium heat until squash is cooked. Take out cooked squash from the oven and rake with a fork again. Add a large scoop of turkey bolognese evenly to each squash half and gently mix. Add the mozzarella cheese evenly to each half and bake in oven for 5 minutes until cheese melts. Place squash halves in individual bowls and add parmesan cheese for garnish.

Food Impressions:

Nate: Wouldn't eat the squash. He was only interested in chopping it open!

Tyler: "This is so good and it tastes kinda like spaghetti. Can I have more of the meat sauce on the top?"

Zachary: "How cool, I get my own squash? This is awesome."

Dave: "This is really good and very satisfying. I think it's more filling than a plate of pasta." 

Andrea: I love spaghetti squash because it's healthy and tastes similar to spaghetti. The presentation is beautiful when you leave it in it's shell. 

Nate going all Conan Barbarian!

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