Ready In:

1 Hour

Type of Recipe:


Good For:

Lunch, Dinner

Tuna Meatballs & Spaghetti Squash Puttanesca

This recipe holds a special place in my heart (and maybe even special powers!) because it landed me a job as a private chef for an amazing family on a lovely private estate. I dare you to make this pasta with all the local ingredients you can find – from the tomato and fresh herb sauce to the tuna – the possibilities are endless!

I was originally inspired to make this recipe because of how much I loved a local seasoned oil company during my time in Boise, Idaho – some of my favorites were the garlic, Meyer lemon, and blood orange oils. YUM!

The meatballs alone would make a nice snack, lunch or dinner. But paired with my spaghetti squash puttanesca – now that’s amoré.


24 oz. wild tuna steak, quartered (fresh or frozen)

egg (or 2 egg whites)

½ cup walnuts pieces

1 small pack fresh basil leaves (1.5 ounces)

2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

½ tsp. garlic powder

¼ tsp. Celtic salt

Freshly squeezed juice from 1 lemon

Zest of one lemon

4 cups cooked spaghetti squash

32 oz. local salsa or spaghetti sauce (or Muir Glenn tomato sauce + fire roasted tomatoes)

4 tbsp. capers with a little caper juice

½ cup pitted kalamata olives, coarsely chopped

1 tsp. granulated garlic powder

1 tsp. anchovy paste

Dash of monk fruit sweetener

Step by Step Instructions

Step 1

Prepare ingredients as suggested above. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Step 2

In a food processor, add all the meatball ingredients. Pulse and scrape until almost smooth. Scoop 20-24 little meatballs. Place in a single layer on a baking dish. Chill for 1 hour.

Step 3

Clean, quarter, remove seeds and place spaghetti squash in a 10″ cake pan or baking dish. Remove from oven and drain any water from pan. Let cool for about 15 minutes.

Step 4

Fork-pull and scrape the squash strands directly into bowls.

Step 5

In a medium-large sauce pot, add all your puttanesca sauce ingredients. Bring to a low rolling simmer. Reduce heat to simmer, cover and cook for 20 minutes.

Step 6

Gently drop meatballs into sauce. Do not stir. Cover and cook for another 20 minutes.

Step 7

Stir sauce. Ladle evenly over spaghetti squash-filled pasta bowls. Enjoy!


The best way to pull squash from their shells is allowing them to cool completely, and then placing a pot holder or paper towel in the palm of one hand, and beginning to fork-scrape the squash strands directly into bowls.

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