One of the many things I love about truly authentic Italian cooking is that it’s not unhealthy. Italians aren’t going to make a whole meal out of pasta and meatballs like we do in the states. There may be a small portion to begin with, followed with a plate of protein, salad, and possibly a veggie. Anytime I have visited Italy I’ve lost weight…of course, that is not why I am on this food as medicine journey I keep harping about. I just give that as an example that a real mediterranean diet is pretty well balanced.
This is going to be a new feature around these parts. You’ll probably see it about one to times a month: where I take one of Nonna’s already healthy recipes and make them even more so, so that they qualify as food as medicine. I am hesitant to label this feautre as paleo or whole30. I can tell you that I avoid sugar and gluten and try to jam pack as many whole foods and nutrients into every meal.
My nonna’s sauce is a masterpiece and there isn’t anything unhealthy about it (adding sugar to sauce…we don’t do that in our family…there is absolutely no need). Just a tip, if you are following her recipe on this blog: note the photos for the ratio of things and how everything should look. Though there are measurements of ingredients, all I can say is she is a Nonna…
I could have replaced the pasta with gluten free spaghetti or rice pasta but another part of that food as medicine thing is taking a recipe or a food or a meal and making it as healthy as possible. While those options technically follow the guidelines I’ve set, is there a way that I can pack more nutrients into this meal?
Enter Spaghetti Squash.Make Nonna’s Sauce normally. Please note, it takes about 20-30 minutes to prepare and 2 hours to cook. I (and the rest of the family) freeze the sauce into containers for a single use to defrost when we’d like it again.
Next up, it’s time for you to make the Spaghetti Squash. It takes about the same skill level as if you were boiling a pot of water for normal spaghetti.To cook the Spaghetti Squash, bake it in the oven for about 40 minutes at 375 degrees.
Remove it and cut it in half lengthwise. Did you ever learn about hotdog or hamburger style in grade school when it came to folding things? Well, cut it hotdog style. Ha!
Scoop out the seeds with a spoon.
Guys, it is so good. I did not miss the pasta (am I allowed to say that as an Italian?) and I would certainly prefer this to gluten free or rice pasta taste-wise. Plus, like I said there are a lot more nutrients served this way. The whole concept behind this idea of food as medicine is avoiding things in food that can cause more pain (sugar) but also packing every meal with the nutrients my body needs to heal and that all bodies need to thrive.
If you’re looking for a healthy alternative to Nonna’s Sauce and Spaghetti, this is it.