Tag: meat sauce

Spaghetti Squash with Meat Ragu


Roasted Spaghetti squash topped with a simple-yet-delicious meat sauce simmered with tomatoes, onions, carrots and celery.

I originally posted this recipe way back in 2009, before I owned a decent camera and I just had to give this a photo makeover (the photo was so bad I’m surprised anyone made it at all). It’s so darn good you won’t miss the pasta, and think of all the calories you’re saving by making the swap! It’s also low-carb, clean, gluten-free and perfect for my paleo followers out there too!

The beauty of this dish is you can totally make this family friendly. I know my kids prefer to have their meat sauce with pasta (plus they need their carbs too) so I cook some pasta for them and serve this with spaghetti squash for my husband and I. It’s a very generous amount and extremely satisfying.

Of course, you can swap the beef for turkey if you wish, and you can certainly make the spaghetti squash in the microwave which is so much quicker. The sauce can be frozen for a later date and reheated when for a busier night. I’ve never tried freezing spaghetti squash, anyone out there know if I can? So there you go, a meal that can make the whole family happy – gotta love that!

Spaghetti Squash with Meat Ragu
Servings: 8 • Size: 1 cup squash, scant 3/4 cup sauce • Old Points: 3 • Points+: 4 pts
Calories: 175 • Fat: 3 g • Carb: 19 g • Fiber: 3 g • Protein: 14 g • Sugar: 8 g
Sodium: 263 mg (without the salt) • Cholesterol: 40 g


  • 8 cups cooked spaghetti squash (from 2 medium, about 6 lbs total)
  • salt and fresh pepper, to taste

For the Meat sauce:

  • 1 tsp butter
  • 1 tsp olive oil 
  • (4 oz) 1/2 onion, finely chopped 
  • 1 carrot, peeled and chopped  
  • 1 celery stalk, finely chopped 
  • 1 lb 95% lean beef  
  • 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes (I prefer Tuttorosso)  
  • 1/4 cup white wine (yes, you can leave this out if you dont drink wine) 
  • 1 bay leaf 
  • salt and fresh pepper, to taste


Preheat oven to 400ºF. Cut spaghetti squash in half lengthwise and scoop out seeds and membrane. Season with salt and bake about 1 hour, or longer if needed on a baking sheet, cut side up.

If you prefer the microwave, cut squash in half lengthwise, scoop out seeds and fibers and place on a microwave safe dish and cover. Microwave 8-9 minutes or until soft.

In a large deep sauté pan, melt butter and add oil. Add onions, celery
and carrots and sauté on medium-low for about 3 to 4 minutes, until
soft. Add the beef and season with salt. Brown the meat and cook,
breaking it into smaller pieces with your spoon until cooked trhough.
When cooked, add the tomatoes and adjust salt and pepper to taste. Add
wine and simmer until it reduces a bit, then add bay leaf and cover,
reducing heat to low. Simmer at least an hour, stirring occasionally.

When spaghetti squash is cooked, let it cool for about 10 minutes. When cool, use a fork to remove flesh, which will come out in spaghetti looking strands. Keep covered and set aside keeping warm until sauce is ready. Serve topped with meat sauce and grated parmesan cheese, if desired.

Spaghetti Al Tonno – Nothing Fishy About This “Meat” Sauce

Spaghetti al tonno is one of my all-time favorite “go to” pasta dishes, and I hope this re-make of an old video helps make it one of yours. I did a very similar spaghetti with spicy tuna sauce for About.com a long time ago, but never got around to doing an official Food Wishes version.

Having said that, there really is no “official” recipe, as this is the type of dish that gets made a little differently every time. Not different on purpose, mind you, but different since that’s what happens when you cook without written recipes, which by the way, is the recommended method. 

I love a classic meat sauce as much as the next half-Italian, but when I want something quick and easy for a weeknight meal, I reach for the tuna. By the time you bring a pot of water to a boil, choose a wine, and cook your pasta, the sauce should be done. What if all that sounds great, but you don’t like fish? Then, this is perfect.

As I say in the video, the taste and texture is really closer to a veal sauce, than one made with fish. Above and beyond the non-fishy flavor, this is also lower in fat and calories, in case you’re into that kind of thing. So, the next time you’re in the mood for a quick spaghetti with “meat” sauce, I hope you give this delicious pasta sauce a try. Enjoy!

Ingredients for 4 Portions Spaghetti Al Tonno:
2 tbsp olive oil
1 anchovy filet
2 tablespoons capers
3 cloves minced garlic
1/2 cup white wine (Note: if you can’t use wine, don’t. Use a splash of stock)
3 cups crushed San Marzano tomatoes
red pepper flakes, to taste
1/4 tsp dried oregano
salt, pepper, and cayenne to taste
7 ounces oil-packed tuna, drained (reserve and use oil!)
1/4 cup chopped Italian parsley
12 ounces dry spaghetti
Parmigiano-Reggiano for top

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