First and foremost, Happy Thanksgiving! Without a doubt this is our favorite holiday of the year. There are no presents to buy or any gifts to wrap. All you’re expected to do is show up and enjoy delicious food with delightful people. What’s better? Anyhow, as you’re roasting the turkey and slicing up that pie, here’s a Guest Test Kitchen from our dear friend Tari. Over a year ago, our friend James made a Grilled Summer Squash Salad for his test kitchen feature. Tari and James just got engaged, so it’s only fitting that she have her turn at bat. She made also picked a squash dish for her own guest post. This one is perfect for the cool weather. Here’s Tari with the rest.
“I recently started a new workout program called CrossFit. The coaches at the gym advocate eating a ‘Paleo’ diet – that is, eating mostly meats, veggies, some fruit and nuts. It’s been tough, since I really enjoy all things bread-y, sugar-y and legume-y, but I’ve been trying to find interesting recipes to try so I don’t go on chicken overload. Once recipe that caught my eye early on was for spaghetti squash and meat sauce. I saw several of these, but I didn’t care for most of the meat sauce components of these recipes. I decided that I would instead learn to make a bolognese sauce to go with the spaghetti squash.
The recipe is pretty simple to make, but make sure to allow plenty of time for the sauce to simmer. It would make sense to start the sauce in the early afternoon so that it’ll be ready by dinnertime! When we had it for dinner, I also had a friend over who is a vegetarian, so I also made a basic tomato sauce that she could enjoy with the spaghetti squash as well! Both recipes are from Simply Recipes, one of my favorite food blogs (outside of The Duo Dishes, of course!)”
Roasted Spaghetti Squash – Serves 4 to 6
1 Medium to Large Spaghetti Squash (Pick a squash that feels heavy for its size.)
Splash of olive oil to grease baking sheet
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and coat with thin layer of olive oil.
2. Cut the squash in half, lengthwise and scoop out the seeds and pulp. Place squash, cut side down, on the baking sheet.
3. Bake for 40 minutes to an hour until tender and the outside of squash can be easily pierced with a fork. Cool for 5-10 minutes, then use a fork to scrape the noodle-like innards into a bowl.
Bolognese Meat Sauce – Serves 6-8 (Recipe from Simply Recipes)
2 ounces diced pancetta, finely chopped
1 medium Spanish onion or yellow onion, finely chopped
1 stalk celery, finely chopped
1 carrot, finely chopped
3 tablespoons unsalted butter (We didn’t have any, so I just used olive oil.)
11 ounces ground beef
4 ounces ground pork
4 ounces ground Italian sausage
1 freshly ground clove
Dash of freshly ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 pounds peeled and chopped tomatoes (or 1 28-oz can whole peeled tomatoes, packed in water)
1 cup whole milk
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
Water, as needed
1. Mix the pancetta, onion, celery, and carrot in a pan with butter (or oil) over medium heat. Cook until the onion is soft and translucent.
2. Add the beef, pork and sausage, turn the heat to high and cook until browned. Season with the clove, cinnamon, and pepper.
3. Stir in tomatoes, bring to a simmer, then turn down the heat again to medium. Cook for approximately 15 more minutes. (With whole canned tomatoes, mash them slightly to incorporate into the sauce.)
4. Add the milk and salt, reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 2 – 2 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally. If the sauce sticks, add water 1/4 cup at a time.
Basic Tomato Sauce – (Recipe from Simply Recipes)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
1 small carrot or 1/2 large carrot, finely chopped
1 small stalk of celery, including the green tops, finely chopped
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried basil or 2 Tbsp chopped fresh basil (I actually spaced out and forgot this, but it was still good!)
28 ounce can whole tomatoes, including the juice, or 1 3/4 pound of fresh tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped
1 teaspoon tomato paste
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1. Pour olive oil into a skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add the onion, carrot, celery and parsley. Reduce the heat, cover and cook for 15-20 minutes or until vegetables have softened. Stir occasionally.
2. Add the garlic and turn the heat up to medium high, cooking for about 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes, with their juice. (Mash the whole canned tomatoes to break them up in the sauce.) Incorporate the tomato paste and basil, followed by the salt and pepper to taste.
3. Once the mixture begins to simmer, reduce the heat to low and cook for another 15 minutes. (For a smooth sauce, run the mixture through a food mill or use an immersion blender.)
Click HERE for printable recipes.
Other recipes you may enjoy...
Winter’s Best One-Pot Meals
Sharing Sunday Dinner Ideas
Gimme More Meat
It’s Like a Game of Mix and Match