Barbecue Meatballs and Spaghetti Squash
Peru was amazing. I traveled around almost the entire southern part of the country, from Lima to Cusco, driving through the Sacred Valley to Ollentaytambo, hiking Machu Picchu and crashing in Aguas Calientes, then back to Cusco and down to Puno and Lake Titicala, only to travel back to Lima for one more day before heading home. It was a trip filled with a new culture, kind people, energetic tour guides, lots of stairs, and llamas. I am now completely in love with llamas and hope to one day have one in my back yard. They are the gentlest and sweetest of creatures.
I didn’t expect it to take me such a long time to get re-adjusted to normal life, but as I got used to putting my hair in pigtails every day and climbing through ancient ruins, I also basked in eating out for every meal and neglecting to check my e-mail. I spent my first week back grasping to my school email account for dear life and eating turkey sandwiches for dinner. Only once my body re-adjusted to sea level and was caught up with my Economics reading did I have any desire to set foot in the kitchen.
The first meal I wanted to make after my return home was one full of comfort and warmth. Spending 9 days so close to the equator made me miss Boston’s transition to fall, and as I stepped off the plane I knew my red scarf would begin to make its daily appearance. Something hearty, healthy, and American. I remembered the barbecue meatballs I had seen on We Are Not Martha and knew they would pair perfectly with one of my fall favorites: spaghetti squash. A mixed-up version of spaghetti and meatballs, this meal was light and delicate with the strands of squash and perfectly moist meatballs, but received a richness from the barbecue sauce that was earthy and autumnal, no matter how frequently you may eat it during a July backyard bash.
Barbecue Meatballs and Spaghetti Squash (adapted from We Are Not Martha)
1 lb ground chicken
2/3 cups breadcrumbs
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 onion, grated
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons apple sauce
2 tablespoons + 1 cup barbecue sauce
1 spaghetti squash
Cut the spaghetti squash in half and remove the seeds and pulp. Place each half cut side down on a plate and cover with saran wrap. Microwave for 15 minutes.
While the squash is in the microwave, mix all of the other ingredients together except for 1 cup of barbecue sauce. Form 1 inch meatballs (the mixture will be quite moist).
Heat a non-stick plan with a little Pam and place the meatballs so they are not too crowded together. Cook, turning every couple of minutes, until the meatballs are brown on all sides and cooked through.
Add the cup of barbecue sauce and stir until the meatballs are completely covered.
Remove the spaghetti squash from the microwave and, using a fork, pull out all of the “spaghetti” into a bowl.
Serve the meatballs on top of the squash.