Spaghetti and Meatball 2.26.11

Makes: 6 servings
1 hour

The How To
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Wash spaghetti squash and dry so it is not slippery when cutting. Cut the spaghetti squash in half lengthwise. Next, deseed the squash with a spoon so the inside is completely clean of the stringing pulp and seeds, reserve the pulp to take the seeds out of later. Sprinkle the inside with a little olive oil, salt and pepper. Place the squash in a an oven safe dish, cut side down, and roast for 35-50 minutes, until tender.

Cook the bacon in small pan, set aside on paper towel to absorb oils. Using the same pan as bacon, fry 1/2 of the onion, diced, until soft, but not fully cooked, 3-5 minutes. When bacon is cool crush with hands into small pieces. Rip apart the ciabatta into small pieces, the smaller the better. (like fresh bread crumbs) Mix the ground beef, egg, 1/2 onion diced and cooked, crushed bacon, bread crumbs and meatball seasoning in a large bowl with hands. Make small meatballs, forming and packing with hands, a little smaller than golf ball size. Place the pre made meatballs on a plate.

In a large pan, heat 2 tablespoons vegetable oil. Carefully place the meatballs in the pan and brown all sides, do not cook all the way through. You may have to cook the meatballs in different rounds if they do not all fit. Be sure to be gentle while flipping so they don't fall apart in the pan. In the meantime, in a medium sized pot melt 2 tablespoons of butter and add the jar of tomato puree. Sprinkle in the sugar, fennel seeds, other half of the diced onion and season with salt and pepper. Cover, heat on low-medium heat, stirring occasionally. When all of the meatballs are browned transfer them into the pot with tomato puree and finish cooking them until the meal is ready.

While the spaghetti and meatballs are cooking you will have time to prepare everything else.

Wash the swiss chard and dry in a colander. Pick the seeds out of the pulp of spaghetti squash, rinse and pat dry with a paper towel. In a small frying pan heat 1 tablespoon vegetable oil and cook the seeds, stirring frequently, 3 minutes. When the seeds are done cooking place them onto a plate lined with paper towel to dry. Save the pan and any oil left over to fry the peppers in later on.

Cut the first 3" of the swiss chard stalk (the red part) and discard. Cut the swiss chard into 2" strips. In a medium size pan melt 1 tablespoon butter, toss in the swiss chard, season with salt and pepper and cook until tender stirring occasionally -5 minutes. Drizzle in the rice wine vinegar and cook 2-3 more minutes. In the same pan used to cook the seeds, fry the peppers lightly for 2-3 minutes making sure not to burn the skin as they are sensitive. Slice the cheddar cheese into 1/2 inch strips and set aside for garnish.

When the spaghetti squash is done take out of oven and set aside to cool. Once the spaghetti squash is cool enough to handle you're read to plate the meal! Using a fork, scrape out the spaghetti squash into 6 dinner bowls. Next, evenly divide the meatballs into the bowls with a large spoon. Pour the extra tomato sauce into each bowl carefully around the meatballs. Top each bowl with the swiss chard, peppers, seeds and cheese in that order. Enjoy!

1 loaf ciabatta
1 egg
1/4 lb. smoked cheddar cheese
1.5 lbs. ground beef
3 tablespoons butter
12 shishito peppers
2 spaghetti squash, separate and save seeds
1 large onion
4 pieces bacon
1 jar tomato puree
1 bunch swiss chard
salt and pepper to taste
fennel seeds
meatball seasoning-
cumin, chili powder, oregano, basil red pepper flakes, squirt o ketchup
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons vegetable oil

The Story and Breakdown

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