One of the dishes I miss most since replacing grains with vegetables is Spaghetti Bolognese.
I do not miss how the processed, high-carb pasta overrode my hunger signals, causing lethargy, bloating, and unhealthy blood sugar and cholesterol levels.
A few years ago I found the perfect substitute for highly-refined pasta products that are packaged with enough preservatives and chemicals to allow for a nearly infinite shelf-life…
A spaghetti squash!
Below is my adapted recipe for an all-natural version of Spaghetti Bolognese:
1.) Select your favorite ingredients for the tomato sauce. I like onions, carrots, garlic, mushrooms and two cans of tomatoes – one crushed and one diced.
2.) Empty the jars of tomato sauce into the largest pot you own and turn the heat to medium-low (if it starts to bubble and splatter, turn it down a little).
3.) Chop up veggies to your liking and stir into tomato sauce. Add herbs & spices to taste.
4.) Add ground beef, pork, or preferred protein source (local and naturally fed is optimal). Cover and let sit on low heat. Stir every 5-10 minutes to break up meat and ensure equal cooking.
5.) Heat oven to 350 F. Cut spaghetti squash in half, length-wise, and scrape all the seeds out (you can throw these out, add them to the sauce, or toast them in the oven with spices).
6.) Place both halves, cut side down, on a baking sheet and place in oven. Start checking the texture of the squash after 25 minutes. The shorter they cook, the more the final result will resemble al dente spaghetti.
7.) Remove squash from oven and drag a fork along the inside to create spaghetti strands. Continue to cut/scoop the spaghetti onto a plate or bowl. One squash can make 3-5 large plates of spaghetti.
8.) Check the Bolognese sauce to see if it is done to your liking. You may also want to add butter or heavy cream to reduce the acidity of the sauce and bump up the nutrient density.
9.) Pour your sauce on top of your spaghetti and enjoy!
I love this recipe because it allows me to enjoy one of my favorite childhood dishes without any of the negative effects on my health or body composition. Also, there isn’t much preparation involved, just time spent checking how the sauce and squash are cooking.
Keep in mind that you will need to experiment with different cook times to find out how soft or hard you like the spaghetti strands. I’ve always been a fan of a slight crunch, although cooking for longer may provide the softer texture some people prefer. Just be patient and give this recipe a few tries before giving up and returning to the less-nutritious packaged options.
For the sake of comparison:
One-cup of whole-wheat spaghetti has about 200 calories, with over 30 grams of refined carbs. It contains a significant amount of manganese and selenium.
One-cup of spaghetti squash has about 40 calories, with less than 10 grams of natural carbs. It is higher in Vitamin A, C, K, B, Calcium, and Potassium.
I hope this recipe helps provide a healthier alternative to the beloved American-Italian dish!