Faux Noodles

If you are anything like me, you love pasta and all the fun stuff that goes along with it.  Garlic bread. Cheese sauce. Some vino.  For me, pasta is something delicious and easy I can throw together so we can sit down and have a family dinner (or impromptu dinner party).  I can use all the random veggies in my fridge and toss it with a bit of olive oil & cheese and we have a meal.  Unfortunately my still visible baby belly doesn’t seem to agree with all the pasta I like to eat.  Since I’m not about to give up pasta for good, I figured it was time to find some substitutions that weren’t just cleverly disguised rabbit food.  If there is any way to get me not to eat something, just tell me about how healthy it is…then all of a sudden it’s just not what I’m craving.  I say all of this to say, as we try to get healthy (I’ve actually succeeded in walking 3 miles a day lately) my focus has been on revamping the classics that we love so I can leave enough room to have the pasta, bread and wine I deserve from time to time.

I was looking one day for interesting ways to deal with my pasta problem.  As I was searching for spaghetti squash, I read on Martha Stewart.com about these easy turkey meatballs that sounded delish.  I decided to give it a try.  We made her Spaghetti Squash with Turkey Meatballs and they were awesome!  Instead of making her sauce we took the easy way out and just used the Bertolli basil and herb tomato sauce.  We couldn’t tell the difference and as people who make sauce for a living that is saying a lot!  I also thought the meatballs would be an excellent job for little ones.  The meatballs are easy to make and perfect for little hands to squish together.  I’ve also found (due to a few picky family members) that if you don’t tell them it’s spaghetti squash, they won’t be able to tell.  Just say it is spaghetti…technically it’s not lying. It is spaghetti…just spaghetti squash.   Below is my revamped recipe…I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

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Spaghetti Squash with Turkey Meatballs (adapted from Martha Stewart)

2 spaghetti squashes, halved and seeds removed

1 can Bertolli pasta sauce (whatever sounds good to you)

1/2 cup breadcrumbs

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1/4 cup chopped parsley

1 large clove garlic, minced

1/4 cup fat free half and half

1 pound lean ground turkey

1 large egg

3/4 teaspoon kosher salt

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Spray the cut side of the spaghetti squash with cooking spray.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Place cut side up on a baking sheet and cook in a preheated oven for 45 minutes or until soft.

To make the meatballs, combine breadcrumbs, parmesan, parsley, and garlic.  Stir in milk.  Add turkey, egg, salt and pepper and mix by hand until throughly combined.  Form into 1 1/2 inch balls and place on a foil lined baking sheet.  Heat the olive oil in a nonstick pan and cook meatballs in small batches until evenly browned.  Return all meatballs to the pan and add canned pasta sauce.  Simmer until cooked through, about 10 minutes.

Once the squash are cool enough to handle, using a fork scrape the squash into noodles.  This part is really easy because it basically turns into “noodles” on it’s own.  Place “noodles” onto a large serving tray and top with sauce and meatballs.  Garnish with extra parmesan if it suits you!  Enjoy!

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