Ok, maybe this blog title is a little deceiving. It's not real spaghetti. And, you might be asking yourself what does spaghetti have to do with fast food....well, I'll explain both.
First, we have a fast food (drive-thru) restaurant here in Temecula that serves Italian food, including, but not limited to spaghetti. Second, the reason this is recipe does not include real spaghetti is because it's made with spaghetti squash.
Now, if you are like my husband, your reaction might be "Ew, I do not like squash." And if it is, good! Because this recipe is a great way to eat squash if you don't like it! (It was actually really funny trying to get him to try it...he was so reluctant, and when he finally tasted it, he couldn't resist having more than one serving!)
1 small spaghetti squash (1 1/2 to 2 lbs)
1/2 c water
1 lb organic ground beef (can substitute ground turkey)
1/2 c diced red onion
1/2 c diced sweet red, yellow and orange peppers
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 vine ripe organic tomatoes, cut into small chunks
1 tsp Italian Seasoning
Salt (I used 1/4 tsp)
Pepper (I used 1/4 tsp)
1 1/2 c shredded mozzarella cheese
1) pre-heat oven to 375 degrees. Cut squash in half lengthwise and scoop out (and discard) seeds. Place cut side down in baking dish, and add water. Cover and bake for 20-30 min or until a fork can be easily inserted into skin. After cooking, reduce heat to 350 degrees. 2) while squash is cooking, cook ground beef in a warm skillet (wiped with olive oil), along with onion, red yellow and orange peppers, and garlic until meat is browned and cooked thoroughly, drain off any excess liquid. 3) while meat is browning, carefully scoop out squash with a fork, separating strands to resemble the pasta this squash is named after. 4) when meat is cooked, add tomatoes, italian seasoning, salt and pepper (to taste) and squash. Cook, stirring slowly for 1-2 minutes, or until any remaining liquid is absorbed and ingredients are mixed well. Squash should not be lumped together, but stringy like pasta. 5) transfer ingredients into an un-greased 2qt baking dish, cover with cheese, and bake uncovered for 20 minutes or until cheese is melted. (This dish is like a casserole)
(There is no picture, because honestly the dish doesn't look as good as it tastes. All you could really see in the picture was the melted cheese. If you comment and request a picture, I will post it.)
The family reviews:
Dad: "The taste was delicious, I couldn't tell I was eating squash. However, the texture was not like pasta. I would eat it again. I was surprised by this dish!"
9 year old girl: "It was super delicious!"
8 year old boy: "I don't like the cheese, but I want another helping of the inside stuff."
Baby: Ate his before the rest of us had a chance to sit down at the table.
Success all around. I am glad I got my husband to eat the squash, he doesn't really eat a lot of cooked veggies unless they are deep-fried. It's great that he ate more than one serving, it just proved to me that he wasn't just being nice by eating two helpings.