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Secret Ingredient "Spaghetti" and Marinara

Secret Ingredient "Spaghetti" and Marinara

One of my favorite artisans at our farmer's market is an Italian booth with handmade pastas and sauce. Obviously, I can't eat the pasta but I bought a few jars of the sauce and I was obsessed! There was an unexpected flavor in the red sauce that I couldn't pinpoint for a long time. I finally realized what it was...CINNAMON! I've been adding cinnamon to my marinara sauce ever since my revelation and it puts it over the top. For a quick weeknight dinner we will have roasted spaghetti squash with marinara sauce. Quick, easy and delicious! 

Secret Ingredient "Spaghetti" and Marinara 


1 large spaghetti squash

2-3 Tbs of extra virgin olive oil 

14-20 ounces of fire roasted crushed or diced tomatoes

26 ounces of petite cut tomatoes in puree

1 small yellow onion diced

3 cloves of garlic minced

1 tsp of dried Italian seasoning (salt free)

1/2 tsp of dried oregano

1/2 tsp of cinnamon

salt and pepper to taste


1/2 cup of dry white wine

1/2 tsp of red pepper flakes

1/2 cup of coconut cream or heavy cream

Meat of your choice (I like to make Italian sausages on the side and serve them sliced over the top of the spaghetti squash and marinara. Ground turkey, beef or Italian sausage can be added to the sauce. Vegans can add sliced mushrooms for more texture.)


Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. 

With a sharp knife on a cutting board, cut the ends off of the sphegetti squash. Slice spaghetti squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Drizzle with 1-2 Tbs of extra virgin olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Rub the oil, salt and pepper all over the surface of the squash. Place squash seasoned side down on a baking sheet and bake for 35-40 minutes at 400 degrees. 


While the squash in baking, make the marinara sauce. In a large sauce pan heat 1 Tbs of extra virgin olive oil over medium heat. Add the diced onion and garlic and sauté until translucent (about 5 minutes). Add the optional 1/2 cup of white wine and simmer until most of the liquid is evaporated. Add the Italian seasoning and oregano to the garlic and onion mixture and sauté for 1 minute. Add the ground meat, if using, and sauté until cooked and no longer pink. Add the tomatoes, cinnamon, red pepper flakes (if using) and salt and pepper to taste. Cover the sauce and simmer on low for 15-20 minutes until it's bubbling and slightly reduced. Turn off the heat and add the coconut cream or heavy cream if you would like a creamy sauce. 


The spaghetti squash is completely done when you can easily press the skin side down. It will feel soft and will be slightly browned. Take the pan out of the oven and flip the squash halves over. Scrape the squash out of the skins and serve with a big spoonful of marinara! 



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