Red Quinoa Meatballs with Spaghetti Squash

Serves: 4 to 6 (makes 12 meatballs)

  • Parve, Gluten-free, Vegetarian, Passover (use quinoa flour or potato starch)
  • This recipe is one of my favorites in this book. I learned from recipe testers Howard and Trudy
  • Jacobson that it is even low in Weight Watchers points. These meatballs won over friends who
  • don’t even like quinoa. You really feel like you are eating classic spaghetti and meatballs, one of my favorite dishes that my mother made often. You can even sprinkle cheese on top of these
  • “meat”balls. You can also prepare the spaghetti squash and sauce as a side dish with another main.
  • PREP TIME: 15 minutes; Chill firmed meatballs for 1 hour • COOK TIME: Squash cooks for 45 to 50 minutes; quinoa cooks for 15 minutes; sauce cooks for 25 minutes; meatballs cook for 35 to 40 minutes • ADVANCE PREP: Any components may be made 2 days in advance •
  • EQUIPMENT: Cutting board, knife, measuring cups and spoons, garlic
  • press, can opener, jelly roll pan, fork, 2 large bowls, small saucepan, medium frying pan, silicone spatula or wooden spoon, small bowl, plate, medium saucepan, tongs, ladle
  • 1 large spaghetti squash, sliced in half the long way, seeded
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • ¾ cup (130g) red quinoa
  • 1½ cups (360ml) water
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • ½ teaspoon dried basil
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons quinoa flour (or chickpea flour or potato starch)
  • 4 teaspoons finely chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • ¹⁄8 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 8 cloves garlic, chopped
  • ¼ teaspoon dried basil
  • ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon salt or more to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • Pinch sugar
  • 1 28-ounce (795-g) can crushed tomatoes
  • ½ cup (120ml) water

  1. • To make the spaghetti squash, preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Drizzle squash halves with oil and place the cut side down on a jelly roll pan. Bake the squash for 45 to 50 minutes, or until it is fork-tender. Let cool.
  2. Use a fork to scrape the squash into a large bowl. Set aside until you’re ready to serve.
  3. • To make the meatballs, place the quinoa and water in a small saucepan and bring it to a boil over high heat. Cover the pan, reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 15 minutes, or until all of the water has been absorbed. Let the quinoa cool 15 minutes.
  4. • While the quinoa is cooking, heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a medium frying pan over medium-low heat. Add the onions and cook for 5 to 7 minutes, or until soft and starting to brown. Add the garlic and the remaining teaspoon of oil to the pan and cook for another 3 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl and let cool for 10 minutes.
  5. • Add the cooled quinoa to the bowl with the onions and garlic. Add the basil, oregano, eggs, quinoa flour, and parsley and mix well. Add salt and pepper and mix well.
  6. • Pour some water into a small bowl. Dip your hands in the water and then scoop up about 3 tablespoons of the quinoa mixture and shape into a ball. Press the ball tightly and put it on a plate. Wet your hands before shaping each meatball. Chill the meatballs in the fridge for at least 1 hour and up to overnight.
  7. • To make the sauce, heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add onions and cook for 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another 5 minutes. Add the basil, oregano, salt, pepper, and sugar and stir. Add the tomatoes and water and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer the sauce, covered, for 25 minutes.
  8. • Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Put 2 tablespoons of olive oil onto a jelly roll pan and heat in the oven for 2 to 3 minutes. Carefully place the meatballs on the hot pan and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until firm.
  9. • To serve, reheat the squash and sauce. Using tongs, place some squash on a plate, ladle some sauce over it, then add the meatballs and more sauce, if desired.