Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Spaghetti Squash with Meat Sauce

Recipe from Jan Deadman: the new look of Home Economics
By Vesna Vuynovich Kovach

Column: Around the Table
Published in Brava magazine, August 2007

“The easiest part of my job is just getting kids excited about new things,” Jan says. “There’s so much wonderful produce around in the fall, so I decided I’d demo this, because they just couldn’t believe you could start with squash and end up with spaghetti. And, why go through the work of making sauce from scratch? It was really fun to watch – because I knew they would like it!”

This nutrient-packed main dish demonstrates some of Jan’s most important classroom lessons: “I try to present a reasoned approach to nutrition and wellness, one of balance, variety, fresh over processed, with an emphasis on fruits and vegetables. Supporting local vendors, grocers, farmer’s markets and the like.” In her classes, Jan also emphasizes “trying new and different foods, keeping informed by reading and the use of critical thinking skills – and being informed consumers!”

Spaghetti Squash with Meat Sauce

1 medium spaghetti squash
1 pound ground turkey or lean ground beef
1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
8 ounce can stewed tomatoes, undrained
6 ounce can tomato paste
1 cup water
1/2 cup dry red wine
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning or
1/2 teaspoon each dried basil and oregano, plus a pinch of thyme

Leave squash whole. Puncture it in several places. Put it on a baking tray and bake at 350 F for 30 to 35 minutes. Cut open. (Use hot pads to hold the squash, and avert your face to avoid steam.) Scrape out and discard the seeds. Scrape out the squash and fluff with a fork into separate strands. Squash is cooked when strands are translucent rather than opaque and are easily separated.

Brown meat, with no fat added, over moderate heat. Drain and discard any melted fat. Stir in onion and garlic. Cook and stir until onion just starts to brown. Stir in remaining ingredients except squash. Cover and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes, then uncover and simmer until meat sauce is thick.

Scoop spaghetti squash strands into four serving bowls. Top with meat sauce and sprinkle with grated Parmesan or Romano cheese.

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