Paleo Spaghetti and Meatball Feast

I have found that the paleo diet is what works best for my health and weight. Unfortunately, it does not work well for my love of pasta. I have no problem passing on the milk, yogurt, cheese, butter, ice cream, pizza, and bread, but I have a severe weak spot for pasta. Spaghetti squash is not quite the same, but it comes pretty darn close. It does the trick for a pasta fix plus you get a low calorie dose of fiber! Top it with a pile of tasty meatballs and you may actually forget you are missing the refined carbs!

It’s a chilly Sunday here, so I have designed this recipe to fill the house with delicious aromas as we watch football all day. Make sure you get all the prep work done before the games start and you will have a fabulous meal ready by dinner time with minimal couch time breaks! I have broken the recipe down into a timeframe to hopefully help you plan ahead. Don’t let the length of this recipe deter you! It’s designed to cook at a leisurely pace as you enjoy a lazy Sunday!

This recipe will create two giant servings and you will have leftover sauce and meatballs. Don’t worry! It freezes awesomely for a future meal when you are in a pinch for time!
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Ingredients:

For meatballs:
1.25 lbs. ground turkey
1/2 onion – minced
1 egg
1 clove garlic – minced
1/4 cup almond flour
1/4 tsp. salt
2 tsp. fresh chopped oregano (or 1 tsp. dried)
2 tsp. fresh chopped basil (or 1 tsp. dried)
Drizzle of olive oil

For sauce:
2 cans peeled plum tomatoes (28 oz. cans)
1 can tomato paste (6 oz.)
1 onion – diced
3 cloves garlic – minced
2 tsp. fresh chopped oregano (or 1 tsp. dried)
2 tsp. fresh chopped basil (or 1 tsp. dried)
Drizzle of olive oil
Salt & pepper to taste
Optional add ins:
1 cup red wine
1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes

For “spaghetti”:
1 spaghetti squash
Drizzle of olive oil

THREE HOURS BEFORE SERVING:
1. In a large bowl, combine all meatball ingredients. Get in there and use your hands! It’s much easier and your hands are going to get messy anyway!
2. Once ingredients are incorporated (do not over mix, your balls will be dense) form 1 inch meatballs.
3. In a large frying pan, heat a drizzle of olive oil over high heat. Brown meatballs on all sides turning frequently. Do not crowd the pan, you may need to brown meatballs in two batches. Once browned, remove from heat and set aside.
4. It’s now time to make the sauce. In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium high heat. Sauté onions and garlic until fragrant.
5. Add tomato paste and stir well. Lower heat to medium and cook for 5 minutes to infuse flavors.
6. Open tomato cans, and with a serrated knife, break up the tomatoes. Pour into pot and stir in herbs and salt and pepper to your liking. If adding any optional ingredients, now is the time to do so. Cover until bubbling.
7. Carefully add the meatballs, cover, wait until bubbling, and then turn down heat to low. Stir gently every now and then.
ONE HOUR BEFORE SERVING:
8. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
9. Cut squash in half lengthwise and scrape out seeds. Drizzle olive oil on flesh and then place face down on a foil lined baking sheet.
10. Roast for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes. Lower heat to 400 degrees.
11. Scrape out spaghetti squash with a large fork and put in a large bowl. Add enough tomato sauce from pot to coat spaghetti. Toss and put pack into squash shells on baking sheet.
12. Return squash to oven for 15 minutes.
DINNER TIME!
13. Remove stuffed squash from oven, top with meatballs, add more sauce to your liking, and serve!

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