Lake Norman Magazine

Re-invented classic for fall squash season

We are starting to see some really gorgeous squash in farmers markets and grocery stores. Fall is here, finally, and it’s always a great time to start changing up our weekly family dinners. Whenever a season makes it switch, it is an exciting time because of the different variety of fresh produce that is available.As home cook or a restaurant chef, the new seasonal variety always seems to be welcomed as we are growing tired of the previous season’s bounty. Just like the weather, we almost always seem to crave what is not in season. We should learn to enjoy each cycle of the seasons and what fresh fruits and vegetables are grown in its “true” season.Fall brings us many different variety of squash, each with a different flavor, while most have the with the same texture. The easiest way to cook any variety of squash is to roast it. Cut the squash in half, drizzle with oil and season with salt and pepper. Place on a foil lined sheet tray, cut side down, in a preheated 350 degree oven until tender, about 30 to 45 minutes. Remove from the oven, hold squash on a kitchen towel skin side down and scoop out the flesh. When removing the flesh of spaghetti squash it shreds in strands, resembling pasta. Topped with a simple red sauce a some tender turkey meatballs you will have a dinner of the season that everyone will love.

Spaghetti Squash with Turkey Meatballs & Red Sauce Serves 4 as an EntréePreheat oven to 375 degreesSquash:· 1 Each Spaghetti Squash-3 to 5 pounds

· To Drizzle Extra Virgin Olive Oil

· To Taste Kosher Salt

· To Taste Black Pepper

· To Garnish Parmesan Cheese-grated

Sauce:· 35 Ounce Can San Marzano Tomatoes-or whole peeled tomatoes, crushed by hand

· 1/4 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

· 4 Cloves Fresh Garlic-sliced thin

· 8 to 10 Leaves Fresh Basil-rough chopped, plus extra for garnishing

· 1 to 2 Teaspoons Kosher Salt-to taste

· 1/4 Teaspoon Black Pepper

Warm olive oil in a stock pot over medium low heat, add garlic and cook to flavor the oil, 1-2 minutes, do not burn the garlic. Add the San Marzano tomatoes, basil, salt and pepper. Lower heat and let cook stirring frequently while making the meatballs.Meatballs:· 1 Pound Ground Turkey

· 1 Each Egg

· 1/2 Cup Panko Bread Crumbs

· 1/4 Cup Parmesan Cheese

· 2 Tablespoon Red Onion-fine dice

· 1 Each Garlic Clove

· 1 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

· 1/2 Teaspoon Black Pepper

Place all ingredients in a large mixing bowl and mix to combine, try not to over mix because it will make the meatballs tough. Try to use a scooper or ounce scale to make sure that all the meatballs are the same size; this will ensure that they all cook evenly.Portion all the meatballs and then begin to roll them into round balls. Gently roll them between both hands to form a ball; this will keep the meatballs light. If you pack them they will become tough and dense.Place each ball on a sheet tray (or an iron skillet works great) right next to one another to help them keep their shape during the cooking process. Once all the balls are rolled out place them in the refrigerator to harden while the oven is preheating to 350 degrees. For best results make the meatballs up a day ahead and store covered in the refrigerator to harden over night, this will help the meatballs keep their shape.Once oven is preheated to 350 degrees place the meatballs in the oven and cook for 10 minutes, rotate pan and cook another 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and place in the red sauce cooking (the longer the better) about an hour.Squash:Once the meatballs are in the sauce, start the squash by cutting the squash in half length ways, drizzle the cut side with a little olive oil and season with salt and pepper.Place on a foil lined sheet tray and bake in oven for 30 to 45 minutes or until a knife inserted into the squash removes easily.Remove squash from the oven and flip over exposing the inner flesh of the squash. Use a kitchen towel to hold the squash and a large spoon to scoop out the flesh, the flesh will come out resembling strands of pasta.While the squash is still warm place in a mixing bowl. Toss with a little of the sauce and place on individual plates of on a serving platter. Top with a little more sauce and a few of the turkey meatballs, garnish with parmesan cheese and serve.

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