If you know anything about me, it’s that I love carbs. And I have to imagine that it’s a universal truth. In my hometown, there’s this restaurant with pasta pizza. Aaaaaahmazing pasta pizza. Normally, I go for fettuccini alfredo pizza, because if there’s anything that’s better than carbs, it’s double carbs covered in a cheesy sauce.
But for some reason, cheesy sauce just wasn’t on my mind this time; squash was. And meatballs. Delicious, delicious, meatless meatballs. So carbolicious pasta pizza got a minor carb reduction in the best way. Normally, I wouldn’t try to sell squash as a like-for-like pasta swap. but this actually passes. Like, the texture is pretty perfect. Apparently all it takes is cooking it three times, but trust me when I say it’s worth it.
I get that this is a little too much work for the average weeknight dinner. But here’s some tips, because it’s TOTALLY worth it and I need you to promise me you’ll make it. For starts, you can roast the squash the night before while you sit on the couch watching TV. You can also make the meatballs in advance (or just save leftovers from a previous dinner or buy pre-made). I like to make double batches of pizza dough so I can keep it in the freezer and ready to go, just thaw in the fridge overnight and then set out to come to room temp before use — or buy premade, no judgment here. Same goes for the sauce: make your own, use some leftover, or buy a new jar. Easy peasy.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Using a fork, scoop the flesh out of the skin of the squash, separating it into strands of “spaghetti”. Add the spaghetti squash strands to a nonstick pan over medium heat with salt and pepper (to taste), ½ tsp Italian seasoning, and ½ tsp garlic powder, stirring until the seasonings are distributed evenly. Cover and cook for about 5 minutes until the lid is steamy, then remove the lid and cook an additional 5. This will help further soften the squash and get out any excess moisture. You can skip this step if you don’t mind the texture of spaghetti squash, but you might have a little extra liquid on your pizza.
Meanwhile, combine all of the * ingredients in a sauce pan. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer, cooking for 20 minutes. Let cool slightly and then blend until smooth.
Spritz a baking sheet with nonstick spray and roll out the pizza dough. Spritz the dough with nonstick spray and add a generous sprinkle of garlic powder to the crust. Measure ¼ c of the tomato sauce and spread over the pizza crust.
Set aside another ¼ c of sauce and toss the remaining with the spaghetti squash. Evenly distribute the saucy squash over the crust.
Cut the meatballs in half and arrange on the pizza. Dollop a small amount of the reserved sauce on top of each meatball so they don’t dry out. Sprinkle the pizza with cheese.
Bake for 17 minutes, until the crust is cooked.
A thin crust pizza dough will not be able to support all the toppings. If you want to roll your dough extra thin, you’ll need to fork and knife your pizza. The ingredients marked with * can be swapped out for approximately 1½ – 2 c premade pasta or pizza sauce. For the cheese, I also like a mix of ¼ c parmesan cheese with ¼ c mozzarella. Vegan cheese substitutes nicely to make a vegan pizza. Nutritional estimate uses linked recipes. Will vary based on meatball and pizza crust selection. For make ahead tips, see the last paragraph of the blog post.
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