Pasta is one of the things that I actually fantasize about a few times a week (grilled cheese and mac and cheese being the others) If I could, I would eat it every day but it’s pretty much fact that that would bode well for me in the long run. Even whole wheat pasta…let’s be honest…no one ever eats the 1/2 cup serving size on the box. If you do, you are the exception that proves the rule. Even though for some reason, most of us are under the impression that if it says “whole wheat” on the box than it’s magically good for you… News flash: its not. Better than white, yes…but probably shouldn’t be a daily staple (and yes I AM aware that – beer isn’t exactly the best thing either BUT believe it or not there are some benefits…but that’s for another day. Plus it’s way more worth it.). Enter the savior: Spaghetti Squash.

The recipe below is for an amatriciana sauce, a pasta sauce out of Rome with onions, pancetta, and tomato. Yes, I know that cheese isn’t strictly Paleo, so omit it if you want.  I use Pecorino Romano. Since it’s got so much flavor, you don’t have to use very much. 1/4 cup grated usually comes out to about 1/4 oz.  Throw on some meatballs and its a pretty easy way to get over the pasta hump…..at least until your cheat day comes around and you can get waist deep in the real stuff.

Recipe:

Preheat oven to 450 F

Prepare the squash: cut in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Season with olive oil, salt and pepper. Place cut side down on a baking sheet and chuck that puppy in the oven for 45 min or until tender.

Sauce time..you need:

olive oil
6 oz pancetta, diced
1 large onion, THINLY sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
pinch red pepper flakes (or more if you want)
14 oz crushed or diced tomatoes (depends on your preference. I like diced)
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup grated pecorino romano cheese

1) In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high. Add the pancetta and cook until browned (5-7 min).

2) Add in the onion, salt, pepper, and red pepepr flakes. Saute until the onions are transluscent and golden. This can take a little while…10-15 min.

 3) Add in the garlic and give it just another 30 seconds. Then the tomatoes and more salt and pepper. You want a pinkish sauce, not bright red. Let the sauce simmer over medium heat for 15 min.

In the meantime make the meatballs!

Combine all this in a bowl, mix GENTLY until everything is just spread through and shape into whatever size balls you want:

1 onion, grated
1 tbsp dried oregano
1 tbsp basil (fresh if you have it)
1/4 cup pecorino romano
1 egg
3 garlic cloves, grated
Pinch pepper flakes
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
8 oz ground beef
8 oz ground lamb (or veal, pork or turkey)


You can either cook these in a saute pan with some olive oil until browned and cooked through on all sides or toss them in the oven for around 15 min.

Once everything is done, scoop out the stringy insides of the squash, and top with sauce and meatballs. Woo hoo!

Kinda hard to whine about no pasta now, isn’t it?