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Revisiting Europe & a Recipe for Spaghetti Squash with Beef & Vegetable Sauce

Spaghetti Squash and Sauce
A few years back, I went to Paris. During Paris Fashion Week. “Why didn’t I do my research?” I thought, as I wandered through the stunning Jardin des Tuileries, where the telltale tents were set up. I suddenly felt short {which doesn’t happen often}, clumsy {probably because I am}, and poorly dressed in comparison to the Chanel clad waifs surrounding me.

I had an immediate urge to go buy a pair of heels and take up smoking long, thin cigarettes while saying things like “Sacrebleu!” and “Je ne sais pas!” and “Voulez-vous cou-“ no, not that last one {I really need to improve my French vocab}.

Spaghetti Squash and Sauce
Since that less than confidence-inspiring day, I’ve vowed to bring my A-game on my next visit across the Atlantic. Sure enough, I’ll probably be heading back in the fall – along with a visit to France’s equally gorgeous neighbour, Italy.

Now I have to figure out how to gracefully say things like “Ciao!” and “Vorrei una bottiglia di il vino rosso!” and “Salute!” while slurping spaghetti and shoving pizza into my newfound multi-language word hole.

Spaghetti Squash and Sauce
While I’m mastering these two languages {which, by the way, should not be that difficult as I’m half-French and overly sure of myself}, I’m also going to prepare by eating French and Italian-inspired foods, and drinking some fantastico champagne and chianti.

To ensure I don’t have a repeat of last time’s encounter with the fairer kind, I have to keep these dishes light, healthy, and budget friendly. So instead of a rich Linguini Carbonara or Fettuccini Alfredo, I present Spaghetti Squash with Beef & Vegetable Sauce; a vegetable-packed meal that satisfies like its Italian cousin, Spaghetti alla Bolognese, but doesn’t have quite as many calories or as much fat.


Spaghetti Squash and Sauce

Spaghetti Squash with Beef & Vegetable Sauce
Serves 4-6

1 pound (just over ½ kilo) extra lean ground beef
1 medium white onion, diced
5 cloves of garlic, smashed and minced, one set aside
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 medium zucchini, diced
2 stalks of celery, diced
4 white mushrooms, sliced
1 (796ml) can crushed tomatoes
1 (796ml) can diced tomatoes
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1 medium spaghetti squash
2 tablespoons olive oil
Freshly grated parmesan cheese, to serve

1. Brown beef in a large pot over medium heat. Drain excess oil and add onion and garlic; cook until onion becomes slightly transparent, and then add zucchini, celery, and mushrooms. Cook, stirring often, until vegetables become tender-crisp, and then add the tomatoes, oregano, red pepper flakes, and vinegar. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and cover; cook for 1 hour, and then prepare the spaghetti squash, while the sauce continues to simmer (for a total of 2-2 ½ hours)

2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil. Cut the squash lengthwise and remove seeds. Lightly grease the foil, and then place the squash, cut side down, on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 1 hour, or until the skin is easily pierced with a fork; remove from oven, turn the squash halves over, and let cool for 10 minutes. Using a fork, scrape the strands out of the squash and transfer to a strainer set over a bowl to let drain. Let it rest for another 10 minutes, and then toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil and the reserved garlic.

3. To serve, stir remaining tablespoon of olive oil in with the sauce; top spaghetti squash with prepared sauce and sprinkle with some freshly grated parmesan cheese.

Spaghetti Squash

  1. Fresh and Foodie01-19-12

    I have yet to make spaghetti squash, but every time I see it pop up in a magazine or blog I’m always impressed by how great it looks. This is no exception.

    Sounds like the trip will be something to look forward to!

  2. Fresh and Foodie01-19-12

    I’ve never made spaghetti squash, but every time I see it pop up in a recipe I’m always impressed by how great it looks. Your recipe is no exception.

    Sounds like your trip will be great.

  3. Eden Spodek01-20-12

    Amazing recipe. Last spring I ditched pasta for spaghetti squash. I’m always looking for great recipes and this looks delicious. How do you keep your plate from getting watery once you add the sauce?

  4. http://bing.com02-15-13

    “Revisiting Europe & a Recipe for Spaghetti Squash with Beef & Vegetable Sauce
    – Global Dish – Stephanie Arsenault” genuinely makes me think a small
    amount further. I personally loved every single portion of
    it. Many thanks ,Kathryn

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