secret-ingredient spaghetti squash bolognese

1 Dec

gluten-free spaghetti squashThis bolognese sauce is a tangy version that is easy to make ahead and freeze. It has very few ingredients but one “secret” one that I think makes all the difference.

1 package lean ground beef
1 ½ 650 ml jars of tomato-basil pasta sauce
¼ cup orange juice (the secret ingredient!)
2 tbsp brown sugar

I used the President’s Choice Sweet Basil pasta sauce (ingredients: tomatoes, tomato puree, onions, basil, olive oil, salt, garlic, spices, citric acid) because I like the minimal ingredient list. My mom has even used marinara sauce as a base for spaghetti sauce – we like it a little on the sweet side.

Brown the ground beef in a pan and drain off most of the fat drippings. Add the tomato sauce, orange juice and brown sugar. Cover and simmer on low for as long as you’ve got, stirring occasionally. 2-3 hours will really break down the meat and mingle the flavours to make it rich. This would also be great in a slow cooker.

Squash-time. I chose one of the largest ones, not really knowing how much “pasta” I would get out of one squash. Most sites recommend slicing the squash lengthwise and baking at 400 for about an hour. I did try this the first time, but since then I have found that throwing it in the microwave for about 10-12 minutes works just as well. For the record, slicing lengthwise is not easy! The skin is tough, but not impossible. Once you have it open, you can see the stringy, seedy centre that gets scooped out. It’s very similar to the prep before pumpkin-carving… even the smell!

Once you have the squash cooked, it is easy to shred with a fork. Top with sauce and freshly grated parmesan cheese.

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