Is there a something you eat that is SO comforting, so homey, so dreamy that it just makes you want to curl up in a little ball and sob (okay that was a bit much), but for me that’s homemade bolognese sauce! It’s just so cozy and although I thrive on this in the Fall and Winter, it can be just as good in the summer by adding just a few tweaks on ingredients! Since I want to eat this all day every day, I found a way to lighten it up for summer and the belly, spaghetti squash! Spaghetti squash has got such a nutty mild flavor and totally tricks my mind and satisfies me when I’m craving pasta! So here’s these cute spaghetti squash bolognese boats that will make you forget you need pasta!
These have made an appearance several times during quarantine and I never get sick of them! They completely satisfy any pasta craving I have and the parmesan breadcrumb topping makes it feel extra indulgent.
Bolognese is such a good recipe to have in your back pocket and can be used for so many recipes! There’s more than one way to skin a cat (this phrase is gross and sorry for using it) but it’s true! There’s multiple ways to make this but the key to good bolognese for me is to build flava flavv! My favorite hack is to use Better Than Bouillon roasted beef base. Add a little spoonful of this beef base after you brown the beef and it adds a little somethin’ somethin’ to your sauce making it even better! Plus adding in a good pour of red wine, and a surprise ingredient chili powder! Okay, I know what you’re thinking… chili powder is for chili and Mexican food but no! Get a sweet chili powder, not spicy and I promise it adds an extra dimension to your sauce! Another favorite is using San Marzano tomatoes, they’re the best and have a bright fresh taste that lacks in some other canned tomatoes.
Also, I want to point out to aspiring cooks or people who want to build up their pantry, adding a few staples to have on hand makes cooking so much easier. For example, I buy the big jars of this beef base and chicken base from Costco and it lasts me months! You can also get the smaller jars at any grocery store. Same goes for tomato paste (I get the squeezable tubes so it lasts forever in the fridge), and cans of tomatoes to have on hand. These are just things to keep in your pantry so you’re not running to the store and feel overwhelmed when you want to make something like this bolognese.
The next key to good bolognese is TIME. Let your meat sauce reduce down so all of the wine and tomato juices have been reduced into a thick rich vat of gold.
What goes into our bolognese?
- ground beef
- fresh garlic
- sweet chili powder (surprise ingredient!)
- Better than Bouillon Beef base
- Red wine
- Tomato Paste
- San Marzano tomatoes
- Optional, a little milk at the end to make it creamy. Sometimes we do this, other times not. Either way, it’s great!
Spaghetti squash is so easy to prepare! All you do is half it, scrape out the seeds, drizzle olive oil inside the squash and around the edges and roast skin side down for 45 minutes or so until flesh can be pierced and scraped easily with a fork. I like my edges a little more caramelized so you can leave it a little extra to achieve that!
Other great ways to eat spaghetti squash:
- Tossing it with a simple basil pesto
- Turn them into pizza boats with tomato sauce, mozzarella, pepperoni, and basil!
- Spaghetti squash burrito boats sound amazing!
- Buffalo chicken! Shredded chicken and franks red hot sauce!
Other bolognese sauce recipes to use throughout the week!
- Add it to zoodles
- Make a Sheppards pie
- Stuff it into peppers and bake
- Put it on top of a baked potato or sweet potato
- make bolognese sliders (like mini sloppy joes!)
I’m always about the sprinkle on top of any dish! It just adds more texture, flavor, and of course prettier! Once you fill your spaghetti squash boats with bolognese, top off with a parmesan bread crumb mixture and fresh parsley! I usually have old baguette or bread laying around that is starting to get hard which is the best for blitzing in a blender or food processing and making bread crumbs! You can also buy store bought breadcrumbs of course.
Spaghetti Squash Bolognese Boats!
- 1 Spaghetti Squash, halved and seeds scraped out one half per person
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 2-4 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1-2 tablespoons better than bouillon beef base
- 3 tablespoons sweet chili powder can skip if you don't have, but gives it a great flavor!
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1/2 cup red wine
- 1 28oz can whole peeled tomatoes, preferably San Marzano
- grated parmesan, breadcrumbs, and fresh parsley for topping.
- Preheat over to 350. Cut spaghetti squash in half, scrape out seeds, and rub the flesh with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast skin side down on a baking sheet for up to an hour until squash easily shreds with a fork and is golden brown around the edges.
- While the squash is roasting, make the bolognese. Brown 1 pound of ground beef on medium-high heat. Remove from pan and saute chopped onion and minced garlic until softened. Add in beef base, chili powder and tomato paste, and stir mixture cooking down for a minute or two. Deglaze pan by adding in 1/2 cup of red wine. Add back in ground beef and add in your tomato sauce giving it a good stir.
- Lower heat to medium and simmer bolognese until thick. Adjust seasoning as needed with salt and pepper.
- Grate a heaping mound of fresh parmesan, blitz old baguette into breadcrumbs making about a cup worth or you can use store bought breadcrumbs! Mix parmesan and breadcrumbs together.
- Remove spaghetti squash from oven, scrape with a fork making the "noodles", top with bolognese, sprinkle with breadcrumb topping and fresh parsley!