If you haven’t, give spaghetti squash pasta a try

I’ve known about using spaghetti squash in place of pasta for some time now, but never tried it. The other day I saw spaghetti squash on sale at the market and decided to give it a go.

I was surprised by how tasty it turned out. At times I’ve tried to make healthy versions of popular foods but they did not turn out tasting as I would have hoped. That was not the case this time.

Spaghetti squash has a wonderful texture and light flavor, perfect for union with a hearty tomato sauce.

Even my partner, an Italian American who likes to eat bread, pasta, and other carb-laden foods, said he did not miss the pasta and wolfed down the whole dish in minutes.

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Ingredients

1 spaghetti squash, usually around 3 pounds in weight.

1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

6 garlic cloves, sliced or crushed (or more if you’re a garlic lover)

½ a large onion, finely diced

½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

1 large basil sprig

1 bay leaf

1 cup crimini mushrooms sliced thinly

I really like pasta sauce with mushrooms, bay leaf, and crushed red pepper. Feel free to leave any of them out or add something you like that I haven’t included, like oregano.

 

Preparation

Step 1. Cut spaghetti squash lengthwise into two halves. Coat each half lightly with olive oil and place on a baking sheet. Most recipes say to bake squash face down, I do it face up so that I can easily take a fork and check how done the squash is.

I usually set the oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit and check on the squash after twenty minutes. Then I keep an eye on it, taking it out of the oven at the moment the fork can slide through, so it’s a bit ‘al dente.’ I don’t enjoy mushy squash.

Step 2. While the squash is baking make the sauce.

  • In a pan on low heat stir the onions in about 1 tablespoon olive oil until they’re translucent, and then add the mushrooms. Cook until mushrooms are soft.
  • Add the crushed tomatoes, garlic, bay leaf, 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, and pepper flakes. Stir and then let simmer on lowest heat with cover on for about 15 minutes.
  • If the sauce is a bit runny, let it cook with the cover off to thicken. 
  • At desired consistency, turn off the heat and stir in basil leaves. 

Step. 3 Use a fork to separate the squash into long strands. Transfer them to a plate and top with the sauce.

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If you like, you can grate some cheese over the top as I did.

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Ashley Rekem

About Ashley Rekem

I am a California transplant who now calls Maine home. I have a degree in Biology and enjoy researching and communicating how the body works.