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Meaty Spaghetti Sauce

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It. Is. COLD.  The weather has taken a turn for the worst with the recent cold front affecting many parts of the United States.

Because of the cold, I’ve started the habit of running from my car to any building that I’m about to enter when I am out and about, so that I can get out of biting Oklahoma wind as quickly as possible.  And since it’s a poorly hidden secret that I really don’t enjoy running, you know it has to be pretty cold.

running

Weather like this begs for food that is warm and comforting.  But the start of a new year also means a fresh resolve to make healthy lifestyle choices that typically include a renewed focus on eating healthy, wholesome and nutritious foods.

You guys are in luck, because today’s recipe provides the best of both worlds.  This hearty spaghetti sauce is full of satiating protein and vitamin packed vegetables to keep you on track with your healthy eating goals, while providing the warmth and comfort you crave.

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The addition of balsamic vinegar adds a touch of subtle sweetness to the sauce without the addition of natural sweeteners, and the inclusion of dried parsley and chopped fennel seeds creates an additional level of complexity to the sauce without overpowering the other ingredients.

This meaty spaghetti sauce is perfect over spaghetti squash as a weeknight meal, after a long day at school or work.   I sprinkled a small amount of Manchego cheese on top (you can also use parmesan or mozzarella) to add a creamy texture to the sauce (and because cheese, if you can tolerate dairy, is amazing).

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Meaty Spaghetti Sauce with Spaghetti Squash

Servings: serves 5-6


Ingredients:

  • 1 large Spaghetti Squash
  • 1/2 tablespoon butter *
  • 1/2 large onion, diced
  • 1/2 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 pound ground pork
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 tablespoon fennel seed, chopped
  • 2 tablespoon dried parsley
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 28 ounce can diced tomato
  • 15 ounce can tomato sauce
  • 6 ounce can tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Chop spaghetti squash in half lengthwise, and scoop out the seeds.*
  4. Place the spaghetti squash cut side down, and bake in the oven for approximately 40-45 minutes.
  5. Once cooked, take the spaghetti squash out of the oven, flip the halves over and let cool.
  6. Once the spaghetti squash has cooled enough to handle, use a fork to scrap the squash noodles into a large bowl.
  7. Heat butter over medium high heat.  Add onion, and cook over medium high heat until the onion becomes translucent, approximately 5-8 minutes, stirring frequently.
  8. Add the ground beef and ground pork, and continue cooking until meat has browned.
  9. Add remaining ingredients and bring them to a boil.
  10. Once the mixture has reached a boil,  reduce the heat to medium low, and simmer the sauce on the stove for approximately one hour.
  11. Once the spaghetti sauce has finished cooking, remove from heat, and serve with the spaghetti squash.

Notes:

  •  Quick tip, to make the spaghetti squash easier to cut, microwave for 1-2 minutes.  This makes the shell a little softer, so that you don’t have to hammer away at the shell.
  • to make whole30 friendly, use ghee, avacado oil, lard, tallow or some other type of whole30 approved cooking fat.

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