Baked spaghetti squash with meat sauce

This Dec. 8, 2016 photo shows baked spaghetti squash with meat sauce at the Institute of Culinary Education in New York. This dish is from a recipe by Elizabeth Karmel. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

Servings: 4

Start to finish: 90 minutes (30 minutes active)

1 large spaghetti squash, washed and stickers removed

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 pound ground beef, such as sirloin

1 large onion, chopped

4 garlic cloves, minced

2 teaspoons dried basil, crumbled

1 teaspoon dried oregano, crumbled

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

1 28-ounce can Italian plum tomatoes, crushed

1 8-ounce can tomato paste

1/2 cup dry red wine

1/8 cup chopped fresh parsley

1 cup grated Parmesan

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Place spaghetti squash on the rack and set a sheet pan under the squash. Bake for 1 hour.

Meanwhile, heat oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add ground beef and cook until brown, breaking up with fork, about 3 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer beef to plate.

Add onion and garlic to skillet and saute until onion is tender, about 5 minutes.

Stir in basil, oregano and paprika and continue cooking 1 minute. Return beef to skillet; add tomatoes, tomato paste and wine. Reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer until sauce is thick, about 30 minutes. (Note: Can be prepared up to 3 days ahead. Refrigerate in an air-tight container and bring to simmer before continuing.)

After an hour, test squash for doneness by inserting a small paring knife through the center. If it is soft, turn off the heat and close the oven door. Let squash rest and finish cooking in the oven for 30 minutes.

Remove squash and cut in half. Remove seeds with a spoon and rake the spaghetti squash with a fork into a serving bowl. This will release the strands. Toss strands with about 2 tablespoons of olive oil, the parsley and half the cheese. Place the meat sauce on top and sprinkle with the remaining cheese. This can be served family style or plated individually.

Nutrition information per serving: 446 calories; 161 calories from fat; 18 g fat (6 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 77 mg cholesterol; 652 mg sodium; 36 g carbohydrate; 8 g fiber; 16 g sugar; 31 g protein.

Elizabeth Karmel, Associated Press