Thursday, September 15, 2011

Turkey and White Bean Ragu over Spaghetti Squash

As we are on the verge of fall we're starting to see some tasty fall and winter squash in the market. My four year old asked if we could "puh-leeease" get some spaghetti squash. I'm not sure he remembered what it was exactly but both kids loved it and gobbled it up! You can serve the spaghetti squash up solo as a side dish with a little salt & pepper or Parmesan cheese, or like we did, serve it as a base for a yummy sauce or ragu filled with vegetables. I prefer to cook the squash in the oven but you can also microwave it for a faster prep time. Here's an article on Spaghetti Squash that may be helpful. Enjoy!

Recipe: (serves 4-6)
1 medium Spaghetti squash
1 pound lean ground turkey
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium zucchini, chopped
1 medium yellow squash, chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
1/2 cup baby bella mushrooms (or your favorite mushrooms)
1 (14oz) can Cannellini beans, drained & rinsed
1 teaspoon Italian Seasoning
salt & pepper
1/4 cup low sodium chicken broth
2 cups fresh spinach leaves

1. Get your squash cooking first. Preheat oven to 375'F. Slice squash in half lengthwise, careful not to cut yourself the skin is thick and tough. Scoop out the seeds just as you would with a pumpkin. Place in a large glass baking dish cut side down, fill dish with water to about 1 inch deep. Bake at 375'F for 40 minutes until outer flesh is slightly tender to the touch or the tip of a knife can easily pierce.

2. In a large sauce pan over medium high heat, brown your ground turkey, breaking it up with a wooden spoon. When the turkey is just about cooked through, add the garlic, zucchini, yellow squash, bell pepper, and mushrooms. Saute for about 10 minutes until meat is completely cooked (no longer pink) and veggies are just tender.
3. Add Italian Seasoning, a few twists of fresh ground black pepper and about 1/4 teaspoon of salt (or to taste), saute 2 minutes more. Finally, add your chicken broth, spinach and rinsed beans. Cover the pan and steam about 2 minutes until the spinach is wilted down and the beans are warmed. Season to taste.
4. Once your squash is cooked through, remove from pan of water and allow to cool slightly. Using a fork, scrap down the inside of the squash, which will naturally form long strings like spaghetti. Transfer all the squash "strings" to a bowl and lightly season with salt and pepper. Serve as a side dish or top with your favorite pasta sauce or ragu.

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