No matter how often I cook spaghetti squash it never fails to impress me. Pulling my fork through the golden sunshine colored flesh and watching it turn into spaghetti strands makes me feel like I can do anything. It’s nothing short of a magic trick to split open a squash and find spaghetti inside! Who knew you could grow spaghetti on a vine? It’s one of natures miracles. One I’m very grateful for because I could eat it every day of my life and never grow tired of it.
There is one way I don’t like it and that’s when it’s treated like traditional spaghetti and smothered in tomato sauce. Because the resemblance to spaghetti is about as far as it goes. It differs in texture and flavor. While some spaghetti squash are very bland you may find others have a hint of lemon flavor to them. Depending on how well done their cooked, the strands can have a bit of crispness that pops between your teeth, not at all like the soft, chewiness of spaghetti.
The broth is drenched with the flavor of aromatics including onion, garlic, roasted red and green bell peppers. It is the perfect backdrop for the tender little orbs of mini meatball deliciousness and the squash spaghetti which makes up the bulk of the soup by adding great body and texture. My father was quite impressed with the entire concept and summed things up best when he asked “Who else do you know that is making spaghetti squash and meatball soup?” A quick Google search turned up nothing, making it a truly unique original that I hope I’ve inspired you to try!
1. Roast the spaghetti squash on 400 degrees F. Cut it in half, scoop out the seeds and place it face down in a baking pan. Add about an inch of water to the pan. A medium-sized spaghetti squash will take 35 – 40 minutes. It will be fork-tender when done and the skin will ‘wrinkle’ up.
2. In a large soup pot or sauce pan saute onion and green pepper in a few tablespoons of olive oil over medium-low heat until onion is translucent and pepper is tender. Add garlic and saute until fragrant. Add roasted red pepper, thyme and the bay leaf. Season well with salt and pepper and continue sauteing for 3-4 minutes.
3. Meanwhile make the meatballs. In a large bowl using a fork combine ground beef, egg, bread crumbs, Worcestershire, Italian seasoning, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon black pepper. Form them into tiny meatballs about 1-inch in size and place on a plate.
4. Turn the squash into spaghetti by using a fork to pull the strands apart. Add to the pot along with the chicken broth. Bring to a slow boil then carefully add the meatballs one by one. Season with additional salt and pepper. Simmer slowly for 25 minutes. Remove bay leaf. Taste and season again if needed. Serve with Parmesan cheese and crusty bread.
Don’t forget to link up your Thanksgiving side dishes for the Showdown!
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