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Roasted Spaghetti Squash with Turkey Bolognese

I love spaghetti squash for its flavor and nutritional benefits over regular spaghetti.  (Did you know per cup spaghetti squash has only 31 calories and 7 grams of carbs, compared to 221 calories and 43 grams of carbs in pasta spaghetti??!  Plus, it makes for a nice alternative to a traditional pasta dish for those of you who need to follow a gluten-free diet.)  But I think in order for spaghetti squash to really shine as a dinnertime star, it needs a hearty bolognese sauce to accompany it.  Try this chunky turkey bolognese, and I promise you won’t be disappointed!

Roasted Spaghetti Squash with Turkey Bolognese
Time:  30 minutes active;  1 hour 30 minutes total
Yield:  Six dinner-sized servings

2 spaghetti squash
2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
1 to 1½ lbs. ground turkey
½ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
¾ tsp. oregano
½ tsp. salt, plus a bit more to sprinkle on squash
¼ tsp. pepper, plus a bit more to sprinkle on squash
4 carrots, peeled and chopped into rounds roughly 1/8 inch thick
2 onions, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
4 celery stalks, chopped
28 oz. crushed tomatoes
6 oz. tomato paste
20 oz. tomato sauce or marinara sauce
¼ cup fresh basil, chiffonade
1 cup shredded fresh Parmesan or Asiago cheese

1.  Cut each squash in half lengthwise.  (Be careful!  The skin is fairly thick and can be tough.)  Scoop out and discard seeds.  Drizzle with EVOO.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Place cut side down on a greased baking sheet.  Roast at 425°F for 1 hour and 15 minutes.

2.  Meanwhile, place the chopped carrots in a large microwave-safe bowl.  Cover with water.  Microwave for 5-8 minutes, until they’re a bit softened.

3.  Place the ground turkey in a medium sauté pan with the crushed red pepper flakes, oregano, salt, and pepper.  Cook over medium heat until the turkey is cooked through (about 8 minutes), stirring occasionally.

4.  In a large sauté pan over medium heat, cook the onions, bell pepper, and minced garlic until tender, about 5 minutes.  Add the celery, softened carrots, and cooked turkey.  Stir in the crushed tomatoes, tomato paste and marinara sauce.

5.  Once the squash is fully roasted, allow it to cool enough so that you can handle it.  Transfer each half to a cutting board (I lift it with forks because I’m not patient enough to wait until it’s cool!) and scrape the squash with a fork, loosening the long spaghetti-like strands.  Top with bolognese sauce, fresh Parmesan cheese, and fresh basil.  Enjoy!
Note:  For a fancy presentation, serve this dish right from the hollowed out squash!

spaghetti squash 5 Roasted Spaghetti Squash with Turkey Bolognese

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