We've been doing our bit to help fight COVID-19 and sheltering-in-place. That means a LOT of cooking at home. I've been cooking though all of my favorite recipes and developing new ones as well to share. This is my absolute favorite new recipe, and, like most interesting recipes, was discovered by accident (dressing up boring butternut squash that HAD to be roasted—there was just so much of it!).
Squash: First, I roasted two large butternut squash. Here’s the easiest way to do it (and the tastiest since you roast them skin on): Wash the squash then slice down the middle and scoop out the seeds. Drizzle the four squash halves with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place, cut sides down, on cookie sheets, add water to the bottom of the pan, and put into a preheated 375 degree oven. Roast for 45 - 50 min. or till you can easily pierce the squash with a fork.
Marinara: Meanwhile, let’s get your sauce going. If you’re short on time (or simply don’t feel like it), feel free to use a good quality jarred marinara. Otherwise, take 1 28-oz. can of whole San Marzano tomatoes and get to work! To make this Italian old-school style, pour the tomatoes into a large bowl and break them up with your hands or a potato masher. Make sure you get all the juices out of the can. In a large skillet, heat ¼ c. good olive oil, then add 6-7 sliced garlic cloves. When garlic is sizzling, add the tomatoes and juice (add water if feel you need a bit more juice). Then add crushed red pepper flakes, dried oregano and salt, stir.
Now, here are two tricks—place an entire basil sprig on the sauce and let it wilt, simmer with sauce till sauce is thickened (about 15 min.). And, add just a bit of fish sauce! Remove basil and discard and season to taste: I like everything very spicy so, in addition to adjusting the salt and pepper, I add: cumin, smoked paprika, cayenne pepper and a bit of dried thyme.
Meatballs: While the sauce is hanging out at a very slow simmer, start your meatballs. In a large bowl, combine 1 lb. grass-fed organic ground beef. 2 eggs, ¼ c. milk (I use goat milk), 2 T. arrowroot powder (a gluten-free substitute for breadcrumbs), garlic (about 3 minced cloves), minced jalapeno (one), minced yellow onion (one small or ½ large), and fresh parsley (fine to sub dried). Mix all with your hands then form into large balls. Heat olive oil in a large skillet and add the large meatballs to the sizzling oil. Get a slight crust on all sides.
Assemble: Now, to bring it all together! Take your squash out of the oven, scoop out the flesh and place in bite sized chunks in a large oven-proof casserole dish. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Next, pour your homemade or jarred marinara over top. Then, add your meatballs. Take a wooden spatula and loosely break up the meatballs and mix with the squash and marinara. Top with a generous portion of shredded organic mozzarella and pop back into the oven at 350 degrees for ten minutes. Serve with a generous portion of torn basil and grated Parmigiano-Reggiano. Insanely good with a glass of good Chianti. Enjoy!
Two large butternut squash
Good olive oil
Cracked black pepper
1 lb. grass-fed organic ground beef
¼ c. milk
2 T. arrowroot powder (I use instead of breadcrumbs)
1 jar organic marinara sauce OR *make your own!
Shredded organic mozzarella
Certified Professional Coach Kate Buckley is committed to facilitating personal growth and systemic transformation. An intuitive and deep listener, she specializes in helping both individuals and organizations reframe their stories in order to reclaim their life—creating meaningful strategies to transform circumstances in order to thrive!