It’s day 3 of Squash Week…and today it’s a healthy twist on an old classic: Spaghetti (Squash) and “Meat”balls. Today was the first time I made anything like this and it was so good. Plus afterwards I felt full of energy rather than full of pasta.

I found this recipe for the “meat”balls and adapted it down below. Also I should note there are a lot of steps here and the dish requires a bit of multi-tasking. However if you aren’t up for a big production, buy the marinara sauce at the grocery store and this meal suddenly becomes one of the easiest things ever!

gluten-free, soy-free
serves 2

Spaghetti 

1 Spaghetti Squash
1 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper

“Meat”balls 

1 tbsp olive oil
1 small white onion, diced
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup cooked quinoa (about 1/2 cup dry quinoa)
1 cup toasted walnuts and pecans
1 1/2 tsp Italian Seasoning (or a combination or basil, oregano, thyme, and marjoram)
1/4 tsp salt
2 tbsp nutritional yeast
1 tbsp chickpea flour

Marinara Sauce 

about 10 fresh tomatoes, peeled and seeded or one 28-ounce can
1 tbsp olive oil
1 small white onion, diced
1-2 garlic cloves
1 1/2 tsp Italian Seasoning
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Cut the Spaghetti Squash in half lengthwise and remove the seeds. Brush on a little olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place cut side down on a baking sheet and bake for 45 minutes or until tender. Set aside to cool.

Meanwhile begin the Marinara Sauce. Peel and seed your tomatoes and set aside. Heat up oil over medium heat in a large pan and saute onions for about 10 minutes, until they begin to caramelize. Stir in garlic and Italian Seasoning and saute for another minute. Add tomatoes and bring to a simmer. Turn heat down and allow to simmer for at least an hour, stirring occasionally, until most the juices have evaporated.

Now onto the “meat”balls. Cook the quinoa in 2 cups of water. While cooking, saute the onions and garlic. Once the quinoa is ready, place quinoa, nuts, spices, nutritional yeast, and chickpea flour in a food processor and blend until smooth. At first your mixture will seem very thick, but give it time and it will come together. Add sautéed onions and garlic and blend until smooth. Allow to cool slightly.  With a tablespoon, scoop “meat”balls and roll into balls. This recipe should make about 10 “meat”balls. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet and place in the oven (along with the squash) or 30 minutes until tops begin to brown slightly.

Okay,where are we? Let’s check on the squash. It should be cool enough to remove the spaghetti strands into a bowl. Set aside. Once “meat”balls are browned, gently place them in the marinara sauce (which should nearly done) and cover for 3 minutes. Spoon out the “meat”balls and place on top of the spaghetti squash. Top with marinara sauce and serve immediately. Enjoy!