Posted at: 01/16/2013 3:39 PM
From the Chew: HELEN CAVALLO'S "SPAGHETTI" AND MEATBALLS
In this made-over spaghetti and meatball recipe, the light, tender pieces of spaghetti squash serve as a pasta-like imitator.
For the Homemade Tomato Sauce:
- 2 Carrots (diced)
- 2 Celery stalks (diced)
- 1 Yellow Onion (diced)
- 3 Garlic cloves (minced)
- 8-10 Plum Tomatoes
- 3 cups Water
- 1/2 cup Red Wine
- 1 cup freshly torn Basil Leaves
- 1 tablespoon Olive Oil
- 1/4 teaspoon Kosher Salt
- 1/4 teaspoon Chili Flakes
For the "Spaghetti":
- Homemade Tomato Sauce
- 1 Spaghetti Squash
- 1 teaspoon Olive Oil
- 1/4 teaspoon Salt
For the Meatballs:
- 1 1/2 pound Ground Turkey (you can also use beef; pork; or veal)
- 1 Egg beaten
- 3/4 cup Italian Bread Crumbs
- 1/4 cup minced fresh Parsley
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan Cheese
- Salt to taste
For the Homemade Tomato Sauce: Dice the carrots, stalks of celery and onion, and mince the garlic. Drizzle olive oil to coat the bottom of the pot and cook over medium heat until warm. Add the ingredients and allow them to sweat. The longer you cook the vegetables, without allowing them to turn brown, the better. Add salt and a pinch of chili flakes.
In a separate stock pot, boil water. Cut little “x’s” into the tops of the tomatoes (bottom side, not where the stem is). Place them directly into the boiling water for approximately 2 minutes. When they’re done take them out of the pot and put them into an ice bath to cool.
Once the tomatoes are cooled, take them out with your hands and you’ll notice that the skins are separating from the flesh. Remove all the skin and coarsely chop the tomatoes, adding them to the pot with your celery, carrots, onion and garlic. Add in your water and wine, and stir. Allow this to cook over medium-low heat, until the liquid starts to reduce down and the sauce starts to meld together and become fragrant – about 45 minutes to 1 hour. Add torn basil.
the "Spaghetti": Heat the tomato sauce in a large stock pot on the stove, over medium heat.
Slice squash in half (lengthwise) and pull out seeds. (Don’t throw them out - you can roast them at a later time by adding 1 teaspoon olive oil and salt, and roasting until golden brown.)
Rub olive oil and salt to taste all over the flesh side of the squash you have cut in half. Place flat side down on a roasting tray and place in a 450 degree oven for 20 minutes until the flesh of the squash is fork tender. Take out of the oven and allow to cool.
the Meatballs: Meanwhile, use a bowl big enough to incorporate all ingredients. Add ground turkey first to the bowl, followed by the egg, and the rest of the ingredients. Use your hands to mix everything together.
Grab a golf ball size dollop of the meat mixture and roll between your palms until a uniformly round meatball is created. Repeat until all the meat is made into meatballs. Place all the meatballs one by one into the tomato sauce you have cooking on the stove. Give a gentle stir occasionally so the meatballs don’t stick to the bottom of the stock pot. In 20 to 25 minutes, your meatballs will be cooked through.
Take your cooked spaghetti squash and scrape out the flesh with a fork, you will see that the spaghetti squash is stringy, forming little pieces of spaghetti, as you scrape. Discard the hard outer shell.
Serve a heaping serving of spaghetti squash followed by a dollop of tomato sauce and 2 meatballs. Add parmesan cheese to taste.