Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Spaghetti Squash with Chunky Tomato Sauce

Good morning crushers,

I bought a spaghetti squash about two weeks ago while they were on sale at the grocery. Since they will be good for up to a month if they are stored in a cool, dry place, I felt no need to rush to bake the squash. Plus, it looked pretty on my table. When you buy a squash, look for a firm one that has a nice consistent buttery yellow color. If it’s squishy, don’t buy it!

Last night, I went to watch my husband coach his freshman football team and they are improving by leaps and bounds. Three wins in a row! They had a rough start, but boy can they tackle now! Cool temperatures are definitely hitting Wisconsin, so I was pretty bundled up as I sat on the sidelines with the parents and friends.

What’s a great dinner to warm you up after sitting out watching a football game? Spaghetti Squash with Chunky Tomato Sauce! Although Emeril Lagasse has a great herbed spaghetti squash recipe, which I highly recommend that you look up, I made this one up on my own.

1 medium to large spaghetti squash
1 can of diced tomatoes
2 tablespoons of olive oil, divided
4 green onions/scallions, diced – save some for garnish
2-3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tsp dried basil flakes
1 tsp oregano flakes
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
½ tsp salt
½ tsp pepper

I took this picture half way
through baking.
Heat oven to 400 degrees. Cut the spaghetti squash (SS) in half lengthwise. This could take some muscle since it’s a hearty vegetable. With a spoon, scoop out the seeds and throw away. Take 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and rub the insides of each half. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste and place in a 13 x 9” pan flesh side down. Take a fork and jab some holes in the peel to let steam escape otherwise you might have an exploding squash. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and flip the halves over so they are flesh side up. Continue baking for another 20 minutes uncovered. This makes them get a golden brown. 

Heating up the onions
and garlic
In the meantime, put the other tablespoon of olive oil and crushed cloves of garlic in a medium sauce pan. Heat the garlic until the oil starts to bubble, but don’t burn it. Add the diced green onions minus what you’re saving for garnish. Allow those to heat up. 

Simmering sauce
Once they’re hot, and your kitchen will smell really good at this point, pour the whole can of diced tomatoes in the pot. Don’t drain them. Add your basil and oregano. Once that heats up, you could put it in a blender to make it smooth or leave it chunky.  Let this simmer until you are done baking the squash.

Here’s the fun part. When the squash has finished baking (it will be tender when you squeeze it), take a fork and shred the insides by dragging the fork along the insides. Be careful not to burn your fingers because the squash will be very hot. The squash should peel right up in strands and look like spaghetti noodles. Scoop up all the insides and place them in a large bowl. Sorry that I didn’t get a picture of this, but I needed two hands and my husband was on the phone with another coach. Pour all of the sauce on top and garnish with some cheese and the leftover onions. Add more cheese if you’d like and enjoy!
I didn't add the cheese yet, but it was delicious!
Serve it as a meal to 2-4 people or as a side dish.

Tomorrow night: ONION SOUP!

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