I sometimes forget ground pork exists. I don’t have anything against it, I’m just so used to auto-piloting my pompis through Trader Joe’s and grabbing chicken and beef. So, naturally to compensate for this, during my last grocery trip, I decided to grab, say 10 pounds of ground pork to make up for my neglect and without any thought of what I would do with so much meat. After realizing that 2 adults can’t plow through 10 pounds of meat like that, I threw it in the freezer. Now I have 10 pounds of frozen pork. Great. What to do with it?
A good idea might be to make a huge batch of sausage patties, because dang, it’s just convenient to have those pre-made and ready to grab. Other option? Try out some paprika ground pork with spaghetti squash. Yes, you are exactly in the right place. Keep reading, amigo!
The two main ways to prepare spaghetti squash are to bake it or microwave it. Oh, and the obvious third option is to have someone else to do it for you, but I just can’t seem to convince anyone. Of course, you know that my preference is to microwave and be done with it. To prepare your squash, give it about 20 pokes all around the rind with a skewer or knife to allow steam to vent while it cooks. This step is of paramount importance. (I just used the word paramount, so you know I’m giving you real talk.) Poke, poke, poke, and throw it in the microwave. Some people prefer to place the squash in a deep dish filled with water, but I haven’t really seen a huge difference in the outcome with that method, and then you have to deal with boiled microwave water, and I just don’t have that sort of faith in myself not to spill it. The second part of my methodology involves not cutting the squash until after it cooks. The rind is hard as heck, and unless you have very good aim and a smallish machete on hand, trying to cut it raw just stresses me out/terrifies me. So, throw the squash on a plate and zap it for about 8 minutes in the microwave. You might have to heat it for less or more time depending on its size. I try to find ones around 2 pounds (weighed with the rind and stem), and 8 minutes usually works. If the noodles taste too al dente to your liking, allow it to cook longer until you reach the consistency you want.
Last tip! Make sure to measure the paprika. I mean really measure, like a scientist. Level off those tablespoons so that you don’t end up with heaping tablespoons of paprika. I use 2 tablespoons for a 2-pound squash. If yours is bigger or smaller, make sure to adjust the seasoning.
Have I piqued your interest? Do you want MORE spaghetti squash? Check out this sister-from-another-mister recipe for lemon oregano spaghetti squash.
- 1 large spaghetti squash (approximately 2 pounds)
- 1 lb 90% lean ground pork
- 1 poblano pepper, diced
- 1/4 cup olive oil, divided
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 2 tbs ground paprika
- 1 tbs minced garlic
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
- Puncture spaghetti squash rind about 20 times to allow steam to vent while cooking.
- Place spaghetti squash on a microwave-safe plate and heat for 8 minutes in microwave
- Check for doneness by pressing lightly on spaghetti squash rind. Rind should yield gently to pressure. Heat for an additional 2-4 minutes if spaghetti squash is still hard. Allow spaghetti squash to rest for a few minutes until cool enough to handle.
- Slice spaghetti squash lengthwise and scoop out seeds with a large spoon. Use a fork to scrape out spaghetti squash flesh from each half and set "spaghetti" aside.
- Add 2 tbs olive oil to a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add ground pork, garlic, diced poblano pepper, and spices to pan and cook until meat is browned and poblano pepper is soft.
- Add spaghetti squash, remaining olive oil, and parmesan cheese to pan. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Remove from heat and serve immediately.
- Adjust seasoning as necessary depending on size of spaghetti squash.
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