With reckless abandon, we mixed Italian presentation, Moroccan flavors, and paleo elements for tonight's "spaghetti" night. I tried out a new recipe for lamb meatballs and a special accompanying red sauce, and I must say, it was pretty amazing. I may never be able to eat another kind of meatball again (just kiddin). They were so good that the spaghetti squash--which in general, I love--seemed redundant.
Spaghetti Squash with Lamb Meatballs
For the meatballs:
-1 lb ground lamb
-1/4 c paleo ketchup (I used this recipe, plus 1/4 c dextrose and 1 tsp salt--I think you could also successfully just use a heaping 1/8 c of tomato puree if you don't have the ketchup, and want to minimize prep.)
-The following spices (bear with me--it's a lot, but it's worth it)...
-1.5 tsp ground coriander
-1.5 tsp ground cumin
-1.5 tsp garlic powder
-1/2 tsp curry powder (I used red)
-1/2 tsp onion powder
-1/2 tsp oregano
-1/2 tsp thyme
-1/4 tsp ground mustard
-1/4 tsp paprika
-1/4 tsp allspice
-1/4 tsp cinnamon
-1/4 tsp chili powder
-1/8 tsp salt
-1/8 tsp black pepper
Preheat oven to 350 F. Thoroughly mix together the egg, ketchup, and spices in a bowl. Add the lamb meat, and knead with your hands until it's well-blended, but be sure not to overwork the meat. Form meat into 1.5" balls (should make about 16), and place on a cookie sheet. Bake for 20 minutes, then set aside to cool.
For spaghetti squash:
There are a couple of ways to do this, but the easiest way I've found is this:
Preheat oven to 375 F. Take a whole spaghetti squash, and make 5 or 6 slits around the circumference (this is important--if you don't do this, the squash will explode). Place on a cookie sheet or in a casserole dish, and bake for 1 hour. 30 minutes in, turn the squash to ensure even cooking.
When done, cut the squash lengthwise. Clean out the seeds and stringy fibers and discard. Then take a fork and pull the squash meat toward the center. It should come out easily, and look like spaghetti. Place the "noodles" into a bowl and set aside.
For the sauce:
While the spaghetti squash is baking, prep the sauce.
-2 tbsp coconut oil and/or fat (I used the residual lamb fat from the meatballs--there was a bunch that oozed out onto the pan--plus about 1 tbsp of coconut oil)
-1/2 c onion, minced
-1 tbsp garlic, minced
-1 tbsp shallots, minced
-2 cinnamon sticks (or 1 tsp cinnamon)
-1 tbsp ground cumin
-1 tbsp ground coriander
-1 28oz can tomato puree
-1 cup chicken stock
-Salt and pepper to taste
-1 tbsp mint (preferably fresh and finely chopped)
-1 tbsp Italian parsley (again, preferably fresh)
Over medium heat, sautee the onion in the oil/fat until translucent. Add garlic, shallots, cinnamon sticks, cumin and coriander, and cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring constantly to prevent browning. Add tomato puree, and bring to a boil. Add chicken stock, salt, pepper, mint and parsley, and stir well. Cover, and let simmer for at least 10 minutes, or until squash is ready to be plated.
If these aren't the best meatballs you've ever had, I'll eat my hat. Or, I'll happily eat your superior meatballs.