Beef Ragu over Spaghetti Squash #SundaySupper

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Welcome to Sunday Supper!! The theme this week happens to be Squash Fest. Very open, and given the time of year, some of us are featuring fall vegetables while others have summer squash recipes. I chose one of my favorite kinds of squash, which is just coming in season where I’m at – the spaghetti squash!!

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Now, we should be very clear about one thing: spaghetti squash is not pasta, despite its name, despite the fact that it gets nicknamed “low-carb pasta” and despite that it’s often featured with traditional pasta sauces. I must warn you, if you serve the recipe I’m blogging today to your family and tell them they’re having pasta, you are on the fast track to some major unpopularity in your own home, my friend. Arguing that spaghetti squash tastes like pasta is like trying to convince someone that Taco Bell is real Mexican food – you’ve lost the argument before you even open your mouth.

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But, I still adore spaghetti squash. I don’t ask it to be pasta, I just love it for what it is. Its flavor is very “blank slate” which means it soaks up a hearty meaty tomato sauce very nicely. And because this isn’t pasta, it is way lower calorie, which excuses the extra piece of garlic bread and extra glass of wine. Don’t you love my logic? 🙂

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This is honestly one of my favorite meals, and I make it whenever spaghetti squash comes into season. I mean, of course I love me some pasta, and like I said, spaghetti squash could never replace it. But this squash stands proudly on its own merits, and I look forward to this meal all year long. Enjoy! And please be sure you check out my Sunday Supper gang – tons of fall and summer squash recipes today!

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{One Year Ago: Cheddar Pecan Wafers, Naan Bread, Italian Prune Plum Crisp, Blackberry Pie Bars, Pulled Lamb Barbecue Sandwiches}
{Two Years Ago: Whole Wheat Ricotta Raspberry Scones}

Source: slightly adapted from Fine Cooking Magazine, Oct/Nov 2009

1 small to medium spaghetti squash
1 tbs olive oil
1 lb. lean ground beef (I used sirloin)
2 shallots, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup dry red wine
1 (15 oz.) can crushed tomatoes
1-2 tsp dried oregano
Kosher salt and black pepper
1/4 cup torn fresh basil
1/4 cup grated Parmesan, plus more for serving
Garlic bread, for serving

Preheat your oven to 375 F. Oil or grease a 9×13″ baking dish. Cut the squash in half lengthwise and use a spoon to scoop out the seeds. Lay the squash halves cut side down in the baking dish and roast for 30-40 minutes, until a sharp paring knife can cut through the skin and into the flesh with no resistance. Turn the squash halves over and let them cool until you can handle them.
Preheat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Drizzle in the olive oil, then add the beef. Crumble the beef with a spoon and cook until no traces of pink remain. Add the shallot and garlic and cook another 3-4 minutes, until softened. Add the wine and cook until it has mostly evaporated. Add the tomatoes, oregano, plus salt and pepper to taste. Add 1/4 cup water and let it all simmer for about 10 minutes.
Using a fork, rake the squash flesh into strands and transfer to a large bowl. Toss with a pinch of salt and pepper, plus a small drizzle of olive oil.
Lower the heat on the ragu to low, toss in the basil and parmesan. Stir to combine.
To serve, mound some squash strands onto a dinner plate, then spoon some ragu over. Garnish with extra basil, if desired, and sprinkle on more parmesan, if desired. Serve immediately.
Makes 4 generous servings.

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38 responses to “Beef Ragu over Spaghetti Squash #SundaySupper

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  9. I just love spaghetti squash and your beef ragu over the top of it looks delish! Great low carb recipe.

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  12. You are so correct – there is no fooling anyone that spaghetti squash is pasta or that Taco Bell is real Mexican food! This does look like a quite lovely and healthy dish. Thanks for the Taco Bell laugh today and participating in Squash Fest!

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  14. I love using spaghetti squash as a pasta sub…the rest of the family is not so enamored with the idea, though! Your beef ragu would be a hit with us all, though 🙂

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  17. Spaghetti squash definitely doesn’t taste like pasta, but it sure does work just as well in ANY pasta dish!

  18. I don’t eat enough spaghetti squash, I love how you have presented this. So delicious looking!!

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  20. LOL if I can slip in the extra glass of wine….??? SOLD! 🙂

    I don’t eat much spaghetti squash but I’m saving this recipe to make later – this is amazing! 😉

  21. Yea, I tried the sauce over spaghetti squash and as you said unfortunately it didn’t go over well with my husband. But that was a cream sauce so maybe I’ll try it again with your beef ragu. It sure does look like a winner to me.

    • Thanks Renee! It doesn’t taste like pasta per se, but it does work well with beef ragu, which is such a strong flavor and texture. My hubby will happily eat this, though I suspect he would also prefer real pasta. Oh well. 🙂

  22. I had spaghetti squash for dinner tonight! Yes, it’s not really pasta, but I love it! And I love your dish!!

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  24. Mmmm, when’s dinner?

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