Meatballs and Marinara with Spaghetti (Squash)

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Ingredients

  • 1 small spaghetti squash (about 2 lbs)
  • 1/2 lb bone-in beef short ribs
  • 1/2 lb boneless beef chuck
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp salt-free garlic powder
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small white onion, peeled and chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
  • 4 medium Roma (plum) tomatoes, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves, rinsed, spun dry and torn into large pieces
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 2 large fresh basil leaves, rinsed and spun dry
  • Freshly ground black pepper (optional)

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400°F.

Cut the squash in half lengthwise, remove the seeds with fork, and place cut side down in a glass baking dish with 1 inch of water. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until a fork easily pierces the skin.

Meanwhile, cut the short-rib meat from the bone and reserve the bone and membrane for stock. Using the meat grinder attachment on your mixer, grind the chuck and the meat from the short ribs. Add the egg, oregano, garlic powder and 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and mix well with your hands. Shape into 1-inch balls and set aside on a wire rack.

Heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat and add the onion. Cook, stirring until brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic, tomatoes and torn basil. Turn the heat up to medium-high and add the wine, continuing to stir and scrape any bits off the bottom of the pan. Turn the heat down to lower and simmer, covered, for 30 to 45 minutes, until shortly before serving.*

Remove the squash from the oven, turn upright and let cool. Place the meatballs, still on the wire rack, on a baking sheet in the oven and bake until the internal temperature registers 160°F on an instant-read thermometer, 15 to 20 minutes.

Using two forks, scrape the squash strands out onto two plates. Top with meatballs and sauce. Garnish with the basil leaves. Sprinkle with black pepper, if desired.

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