Thursday, November 10, 2011

Re-Stuffed Spaghetti Squash with Turkey Meatballs...

Beautiful presentation and easy clean up....what more could you want?! Simply serve the Spaghetti Squash right in it's own shell. This can even be made ahead of time and baked right before serving for the ultimate convenience for holiday meals!

Re-Stuffed Spaghetti Squash with Turkey Meatballs

Spaghetti Squash

Poke tip of knife into center, use rocking motion. BE CAREFUL!

Remove insides

With a spoon discard the seeds.

Place face-down on a baking  sheet with a lip.

Ok if the outside gets roasted. Make sure you just don't dry out the flesh inside.

Scrape the flesh with a fork to make spaghetti strings (already baked).

Just like spaghetti!

After scraping out all the insides, save the shell of the squash for re-stuffing.

Meatball ingredients

Roll  mixture in your hands to create meatball.

Saute in oil at medium heat.

Brown all the edges of the meatballs.

Ingredients for re-stuffing.

Saute onions in the same pan/oil as the meatballs. Saute a few minutes

Add tomatoes, continue to saute until  tomatoes wilt and release their juices.

Place all the ingredients into the spaghetti squash strings.

Time to re-stuff the Spaghetti Squash shells.

Sprinkle with more cheese and boil until the cheese melts/browns

Re-Stuffed Spaghetti Squash with Turkey Meatballs
Author: Brenna Bowers
Serving: 4
1 large spaghetti squash
1 pound ground turkey
5 gloves garlic (divided), minced
1 small white onion (divided), diced
Salt and Pepper
2 cups cherry tomatoes, cut in half
5 Tablespoons grapeseed oil *
1 ½ teaspoons Italian Herbs
5 gloves garlic (divided), minced
4 oz. Feta cheese
4 oz. Shredded Mozzarella
pinch red pepper flakes ( if you like spicy)

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees (F).

Split the Spaghetti squash open with a very sharp knife digging the point of the knife into the center of the squash and with a rocking motion, carefully open up the squash.  Place on a cookie sheet with a lip or a 13x9 inch baking dish (lined with tin foil) face down (Tip 1). Bake for 50-60 minutes. You know it is cooked when you can take a fork and scrape the squash into “spaghetti strings”. Once the squash has been fully shredded into strings and all of the insides placed into a large bowl; save the outer portion of the squash for re-stuffing later.

In a medium bowl, combine ground turkey, 2 cloves of minced garlic, ¼ cup diced white onion and a dash of both salt and pepper. Mix well and then with your hands form the mixture into 1” meatballs.

Heat up a large skillet to medium heat. Add 3 Tablespoons grapeseed oil. Once the oil is hot, add the meatballs. Cook all of the meatballs, turning every 3 minutes or so to allow them to brown and cook on all sides. After about 10 minutes of slow cooking the meatballs, check to see if they are no longer pink in the middle. If so, they are ready to be placed into the bowl with the prepared spaghetti squash.

With the same pan used to cook the meatballs, add the rest of the oil (2 Tablespoons) and sauté the onions for 3 minutes. Add the cherry tomatoes and cook another 6-7 minutes. Add garlic, herbs and red pepper flakes continuing to cook the mixture until the tomatoes begin to slightly break down and release their juices.

Add the tomato mixture, Feta and Mozzarella to the spaghetti squash and meatball mixture. Toss well and then place all of the mixture back into the spaghetti squash shell.

Turn the oven to broil and place the re-stuffed spaghetti squash into the oven for 5 minutes or until the top/cheese begins to brown.

Remove from the oven and serve hot!

Tip 1: I have tested to see the best results in the texture and flavor of cooking the spaghetti squash. I prefer baking the squash face-down (as opposed to face-up) for it does not over brown the flesh (causing dryness) yet instead it basks in it’s own stem to make for easier shredding.

*Grapeseed Oil: I prefer to use Grapeseed oil in this recipe because it can withstand higher temperatures than olive oil and will prevent the oil from smoking if the pan gets too hot. Olive oil or canola oil can be substituted and used if you prefer.

Make ahead: Prepare recipe as directed above up through re-stuffing the squash. Sprinkle with cheese and then cover with foil and store in an airtight container. Freeze (up to 1 month) or refrigerate (up to 3 days). To serve hot, remove from freezer (let thaw for 1 day in the fridge) or fridge. Place into a 350 degree (F) oven (with foil still on) and bake for 20-30 minutes (or until hot in the center). Remove the foil and broil for 5 minutes

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