1poundground beef or ground turkey, (CAN LEAVE OUT FOR MEATLESS DISH)
2clovesgarlic, finely minced or 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
½teaspooncoarse, kosher salt
1 (28-ounce)cancrushed tomatoes
1 (8-ounce)cantomato sauce
1-2teaspoonsbrown sugar or honey
1tablespoonlow-sodium soy sauce
6cupscooked spaghetti squash, (about 680-708) grams, about 2 small-medium squashes or 1 large drained of any excess liquid/water (see note)
1 to 2cupsshredded mozzarella cheese
½cupshredded Parmesan cheese
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
In a large 12-inch nonstick skillet (see note) over medium-high heat, cook the ground meat, onion, garlic, and a pinch of salt and pepper, breaking the meat into small pieces as it cooks, until the meat is not longer pink. Drain any excess grease.
Stir in the tomato paste, basil, oregano, thyme, salt and pepper. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, for about a minute, until the mixture smells fragrant.
Add the crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, brown sugar and soy sauce. Stir to combine.
Bring the sauce to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes.
Add the cooked spaghetti squash noodles to the skillet (if it's big enough; if not, transfer the sauce and spaghetti squash to a baking dish) and toss/stir to evenly combine. Pat the mixture into a somewhat even layer. Sprinkle with the mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses.
Bake for 20 minutes until the cheese and spaghetti are bubbling. Let rest for 10-15 minutes out of the oven before serving (the longer it rests, the less liquidy it will be).
Spaghetti Squash: this recipe calls for cooked spaghetti squash "noodles" - I usually use my Instant Pot for this following these instructions. You can also cook the spaghetti squash in the oven. Halve the spaghetti squash lengthwise, scoop out the seeds and place the squash face down or up on a baking sheet. Bake at 375 degrees for 40-50 minutes until tender. Let cool slightly before scraping up the strands of spaghetti squash.Skillet: a 12-inch skillet isn't large enough for the sauce and the spaghetti squash together, so you will need to transfer to an ovenproof baking dish to bake. If you have a larger skillet or a 3- or 4-inch deep pan that's ovenproof, make the sauce in that so you can use it in the oven, too (and save transferring to another dish).Servings: this recipe feeds our family of seven (a few of the younger kids are small eaters) with a few servings of leftovers. The recipe can definitely be cut in half (if so, it will fit just fine in a 12-inch skillet, so if the skillet is ovenproof, you can save a dish and bake it in there, too). But, the leftovers are also AMAZING (and individual portions would probably freeze great) if you want to make the full recipe.Pasta: if you have a brand of pasta sauce you love and it comes in a 32-ounce jar, you could sub it in for the homemade sauce (and either leave the spaghetti squash amount the same or decrease slightly for a saucier dish).