Twice Baked Spaghetti Squash

This gluten free and grain free dish is a satisfying alternative to pasta.  Versatile spaghetti squash is baked, shredded, tossed with meat sauce and baked again in its own shell for a tasty finish!  I could not believe how delicious this was, and how good I felt after dinner.  Happy tummy for me, and my husband loved it too!

I used a medium sized spaghetti squash (about 8” long) for the two of us.  To double or triple the recipe, choose squash that are all about the same size so that they finish cooking at the same time.

2 Servings

This post contains affiliate links.

Ingredients:

For the Meat Sauce

  • 2 tbsp. Olive oil, divided
  • ½ lb. Lean ground beef
  • Italian seasoning, to taste
  • ½ cup onion, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup mushrooms, diced
  • ¼ cup carrots, grated
  • 1 tsp. Basil
  • ½ tsp. Oregano
  • 15 oz. can tomato sauce
  • Ground pepper, a few grinds
  • drizzle of olive oil
  • dash of red wine vinegar
  • ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • parsley or chives

Preparation:

Using a sturdy knife, cut the spaghetti squash in half.  Believe it or not this is the most difficult part of the whole recipe!

Scrape out the seeds with a large spoon.  Brush each half with about 1 tbsp. of olive oil, and sprinkle generously with Italian seasoning.

Place the two halves cut side down on a parchment lined baking sheet.  Bake for 1 hour at 400°.

While the squash is baking make the meat sauce.

Heat a deep skillet with one tbsp. olive oil and add the ground beef.  Cook on low heat, turning and breaking up the meat with a meat spatula.

When the beef has browned, stir in the onions, followed by the garlic, carrots and mushrooms.  Sprinkle with Italian seasoning and fresh ground black pepper.  Continue cooking 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently to help the liquid evaporate.

Next add the tomato sauce, basil, and oregano.  Drizzle with 1 tbsp. olive oil and 1 tsp. red wine vinegar.  Simmer on low for about 30 minutes or until the squash is ready.  Stir frequently and watch that it doesn’t burn.

When the squash has baked for 1 hour, remove from the oven.  Use tongs to carefully turn the halves over and let them cool for 10-15 minutes until they are safe to handle.

Use 2 forks to shred and separate the “spaghetti” and transfer it to a bowl.

Toss with half of the meat sauce and spoon the mixture back into the squash shells.

Top with more sauce, grated cheese and herbs.  Return to the oven for another 20-30 minutes.

You can finish them off under the broiler for 2-3 minutes to crisp up the edges.

Serve in the shell with extra sauce on the side.

Notes: ♪♫ Roasting is my favorite way to prepare vegetables and spaghetti squash is no exception.  It does require more time than boiling but so worth it – you will taste the difference!

Print This Post Print This Post

Italian Pot Roast

When I was growing up in the 1960’s, Sunday morning in our Italian neighborhood was all about making the sauce.  I can still see my Mom’s Farberware Stockpot simmering on the stove, filled to the rim.

She often cooked a pot roast right in the sauce, as it was so easy to do and the resulting meal was delicious.  The aromas filled our home and beyond, in fact it seemed every kitchen in the neighborhood was busy preparing their own Italian Sunday Dinner.

This post contains affiliate links.

I always think of my Mom when I make this recipe, but instead of stovetop I prefer using my crock-pot, which makes it virtually hands off while you go about your busy day.  The roast can be cooked on the weekend and reheated during the week, for an easy meal when you get home from work.  Chuck roast is an economical cut of beef and after nine hours in the crock-pot the meat will be melt in your mouth tender!

Ingredients:

  • 2-4 lb. chuck roast, allow 1/2 lb. per serving
  • 4 garlic cloves cut into slivers
  • 1/2 sweet onion, diced
  • cooking spray
  • olive oil
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 1 large can (28 oz.) tomato sauce
  • 3 tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1-1/2 tsp. basil
  • 1 tsp. oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. marjoram
  • 1/2 tsp. parsley
  • 1 tbsp. brown sugar

Preparation:

I got a great deal on a 4 lb. chuck roast, so I cut it into 2 pieces and froze half.  A roast like this will shrink during cooking, so when planning portions I allow 1/2 lb. per person.  If you have leftovers, this pot roast is great in sandwiches the next day.

To get started, set up your crock-pot and mist with cooking spray.  Cut the garlic cloves into long slivers.  Use a paring knife to make slits in the top of the roast and insert the garlic slivers.

Sear the roast on all sides in a hot skillet with olive oil, then place it in the crock-pot.

Add onions to the same skillet and cook until translucent.  Add them to the roast then deglaze the skillet with the red wine and pour over everything.

Whisk the tomato paste into the tomato sauce along with the remaining ingredients, through brown sugar.  Add to the crock-pot and cook on low for 9 hours.  Give it a stir about half way through.  You can serve it immediately but my personal preference is to refrigerate it overnight.  The flavors will continue to meld and the sauce will thicken.

The next day, reheat the roast on the stovetop over low heat.  You can see that mine was so tender that it had broken into two pieces.

Most of the onions will have melted into the sauce at this point, but if you want an extra smooth sauce (or have picky eaters) you can puree it with a stick blender.

Slice the roast and arrange on a serving platter.

Serve with your favorite gluten free pasta.  Jovial gluten free penne is one of mine.

Bring to the table with extra sauce and grated cheese.  The only thing missing here is fresh parsley from my herb garden.  I guess I’ll have to wait for summer and make this again!

Notes: ♪♫  When starting the gluten free diet, you may feel like you will never enjoy your old family recipes again.  The truth is, many recipes like this one are naturally gluten free.  The only thing I changed was the pasta.  With a little patience and experimentation, I have learned that many of my childhood favorites can be recreated in My Gluten Free Cucina.

Print This Post Print This Post