By Gabby Zaldumbide
If you're anything like me, you don't exactly feel excited to cook after staring into a computer screen abyss for eight hours. In an attempt to find a delicious, healthy, all-in-one dinner that doesn't take long to throw together, I created this satisfying solution: baking cheese, breadcrumbs, and venison in a hollowed-out spaghetti squash. The dish was brought to life thanks to my favorite flavors, PS Seasoning's Black Gold and Good Fella Italian herbs.
- 1/2 lb ground venison (in this case, elk)
- 1 large spaghetti squash
- Olive oil
- 2-3 garlic cloves
- Italian breadcrumbs
- Marinara sauce
- Mozzarella cheese
- Parmesan cheese
- PS Seasoning's Black Gold
- PS Seasoning's Good Fella
- Fresh basil and dried red pepper flakes if you're into that
- Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 375. Slice your squash in two and scoop out the seeds (pro tip: dry them on a paper towel and attempt to grown your own squash this year). Grease each inside half of the squash with olive oil and add salt, Black Gold, Good Fella, and black pepper to taste. Place the squash halves right side up on a baking sheet and cook them for about 40 minutes or until it begins to get fork tender.
While your squash is cooking, prep your fillings. Dice your garlic. Fully cook the ground venison, browning it with olive oil, and add in your Black Gold, Good Fella, salt, pepper, and any other seasonings you enjoy. When the meat has about 2 minutes left, add your chopped garlic. Once it's fully cooked and the garlic is browned, set it aside.
Shred/slice your mozzarella and parmesan. If you have pre-shredded cheese, you're all set on this front.
Melt your butter and add in the Italian breadcrumbs. You're looking to get a crumbly, damp mix; don't let the breadcrumbs just swim around in the butter. Stir until completely mixed.
Mix your ground venison with some marinara sauce to your own personal preference. Generally, I go pretty light on the sauce.
Once your squash is ready, take it out of the oven. Check to make sure you can stick a fork into it and gently begin to tear it the flesh apart. Having it just-baked means it will be perfectly baked by the time it comes out of the oven again.
Add in a heaping scoop of the ground venison and sauce mix. Next, because I like melty cheese and crispy breadcrumbs, add a layer of mozzarella. Top it off with a generous layer of breadcrumbs. Put it back in the oven and cook until the cheese is melty and the breadcrumbs are brown; about 10 minutes. When done, let it cool for about 5 minutes. Top with parmesan, fresh basil, and red pepper flakes (and maybe a little bit more Good Fella), and enjoy this all-in-one meal!
If you want to get fancy, make some garlic bread to go with it on the side. We get an Italian loaf from the store, slice it lengthwise, and layer on the butter, diced garlic, salt, pepper, and Good Fella. We bake it at 375 for that last 10 minutes that the squash bake is in the oven. It's well worth the extra bit of work!