Spaghetti! Spaghetti! Spaghetti! Squash!

In case you couldn’t tell by my excessive use of exclamation points in my title, I am a little excited about my find today at the grocery store.

I have wanted to try spaghetti squash ALL summer long. Every time I went to the grocery store I would search for it. I asked the manager and even googled where to find the elusive vegetable to no avail. Needless to say, it was extremely frustrating. So you can imagine my delight when I was strolling through the produce section of my neighborhood Acme Superstore earlier today. SPAGHETTI SQUASH!

Hallelujah! Hallelujah! I found it!

I nearly did a happy dance in the middle of the store, but somehow managed to contain myself. Instead, I put it in my cart and proceeded around the rest of the store with a big grin on my face. I got right to work preparing it when I got home, and man oh man, it lived up to expectations.

Spaghetti Squash w/Meat Sauce

1 spaghetti squash

1 jar spaghetti sauce

1 lb ground beef

fresh basil

1 small clove of garlic, minced

butter for sauteing

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Poke holes in squash with a fork or some other sharp object. This allows for steam to escape and prevents it from exploding in your oven. Can’t imagine that being much fun.

3. Place in a baking dish and back for 45 min- 1 hour.

4. As the squash bakes, brown the ground beef in a skillet. Once browned, drain grease and add to sauce in a sauce pan. Heat over low heat until simmering.

4. Remove from the squash from the oven. Split in half long ways. CAREFUL!!!! It will be extremely hot.

5. After it has cooled enough to be handled, scoop out the seeds and other “trash” in the middle.

6. Once the seeds have been removed, use a fork to lightly scrape the meat from the sides of the squash.

7. Over medium heat, saute fresh basil, garlic, butter and a scoop of the meat sauce. Add meat from the squash and saute for    3-4 minutes.

8. Serve with a generous scoop of meat sauce and sprinkle with cheese.

After baking, before cleaning out the seeds and what not.

Lightly scraping with a fork. It shreds beautifully.

Sauteing the basil, garlic, and butter.

Finished product. Delicious and flavorful.

While regular pasta has about 200 calories per cup and somewhere around 40 grams of carbs, spaghetti squash has a measly 40 calories and 8 grams of carbs. Whoa. Even though it is low cal, it is still extremely satisfying and was just as flavorful as its calorie-laden, carb-packed alternative. I will definitely be giving it a try again (apparently it is in season now?). Maybe next time with chicken piccata? If I do, you’ll be the first to know!

Check back later for a delightful side dish that went with my first spaghetti squash experience ever. You won’t be disappointed.

Enjoy!

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