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Beef Ragù Over Spaghetti Squash with Garlic Bread

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Serves 4

  • by Liz Pearson from Fine Cooking
    Issue 101

Here, spaghetti squash is used like pasta to delicious effect, and a quick garlic bread rounds out the meal.

  • 1/4 baguette, halved lengthwise
  • 1-1/2 Tbs. unsalted butter, melted
  • 6 medium cloves garlic
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 small (2-1/2-lb.) spaghetti squash, halved lengthwise and seeded
  • 1 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 lb. lean ground beef
  • 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
  • One 15-oz. can crushed tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh basil
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

Heat the oven to 375°F. Arrange the bread cut side up on a foil-lined baking sheet. Brush it with the butter. Peel and chop the garlic. Divide the garlic in half and sprinkle one-half with a generous pinch of salt. Using the flat side of a chef’s knife, mince and mash the garlic and salt together to form a smooth paste. Spread each piece of bread evenly with garlic paste and season with salt and pepper. Bake until light golden-brown and crisp, 12 to 14 minutes. Cut each piece in half to make 4 pieces total, and cover with foil to keep warm.

Meanwhile, arrange the spaghetti squash in a single layer in the bottom of a large, wide pot. (Don’t worry if the squash halves don’t lie completely flat in the pot.) Add 1/2 inch of water, cover the pot, and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook until the squash is tender enough to shred when raked with a fork but still somewhat crisp, 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer the squash to a plate and set aside until cool enough to handle.

While the squash cooks, heat the oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add the beef, the remaining chopped garlic, onion, 1/2 tsp. salt, and 1/4 tsp. pepper; cook, stirring to break up the meat, until just cooked through, 5 to 6 minutes. Drain and discard the fat if necessary. Add the tomatoes, basil, and 1/4 cup water; stir well and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer for 10 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

With a fork, rake the squash flesh into strands, transfer to plates, and season to taste with salt. Ladle the beef ragù over the squash and garnish with the Parmigiano. Serve with the garlic bread.

Serving Suggestions

Along with the garlic bread, serve with a Mixed Green Salad.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 370; Fat (g): 19; Fat Calories (kcal): 170; Saturated Fat (g): 8; Protein (g): 26; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 8; Carbohydrates (g): 27; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 1.5; Sodium (mg): 410; Cholesterol (mg): 80; Fiber (g): 6;

Photo: Scott Phillips

This was so good!

I was a little dubious about trying this recipe because years ago I tried spaghetti squash and was totally unimpressed with it. But this is a TERRIFIC recipe, my husband and I just loved it, will definitely be a keeper. I added a lot of extra fresh oregano and thyme in addition to the basil to zip up the flavor.

Definitely a keeper! I find it's easier to bake squash so I pricked it with a fork and it went into the oven for an hour at 350 degrees. I also added some italian seasoning and a few crushed pepper flakes to the ragu. Delicious!

A basic recipe for a nice low-carb spaghetti...the squash took an extra 15 min to steam though. We used veal instead of beef since that's what the store had. I made the sauce my "own" way, by sauteeing the onion & garlic together before adding the meat, and adding the basil at the end to retain its brightness but otherwise followed the recipe. It was easy and fast and quite delicious and my husband was quite happy with it as he felt like he was getting a spaghetti dinner while I was happy that I was getting lots of veg instead of pasta (not a big fan of pasta). I will definitely save this & make it again.

Excellent!! We're a mostly vegetarian household and Morningstar Crumbles worked just fine with this!

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