Vegan Recipe – Serves 4
Warm squash dishes are a beautiful addition to a fall menu, and this is one that nearly any family will enjoy. If you haven’t had spaghetti squash, it has a fun, spaghetti-like texture naturally, once cooked, and it pairs well with nearly any sauce or broth imaginable. This one is for a tomato basil pesto, but feel free to experiment and use your favorite sauces on this wonderfully diverse, low-carb vegetable.
Spaghetti Squash with Tomato Basil Pesto Ingredients:
- 1 large whole spaghetti squash
- 4 plumb tomatoes
- 3 cloves of minced garlic
- 1 cup of fresh basil
- 2 tbsp of pine nuts
- 2 tbsp of dried basil flakes
- ½ cup of fresh chopped flat leaf parsley
- 2 cups of chopped mushrooms (either button, shiitake, Portobello or combination)
- ½ cup of extra virgin olive oil (plus 2 tbsp)
- ¼ cup of fresh water
- ¼ cup of grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 cups of fresh spinach cut into ribbons
- 1 tbsp oregano
- 1 tsp crushed red pepper
- 2 tbsp of tomato paste (or to desired thickness)
- Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Cut the spaghetti squash in half and baste with olive oil and sprinkle with a generous amount of salt and pepper. Place in a roasting pan, flesh side up and add 1 cup of fresh water to the bottom of the pan to prevent the bottom of the squash from burning during the cooking process. Cover loosely with parchment paper or aluminum foil, and place in the oven. Reduce heat to 375 and roast for about 45 minutes or until the flesh of the squash is cooked through and easy to pull the flesh away from the skin with a fork.
Prepare the tomato basil pesto using a blender or food processor. Add the water first, then all other ingredients (reserving 2 tbsp of olive oil) and blend together until smooth. If the consistency is too thick for your liking, add more water.
When the spaghetti squash is done cooking allow to sit for 20 minutes or so to cool or until you can comfortably hold with a tea towel, then begin shredding the meat of the quash be separating it from the skin with a spoon. Toss the shredded squash meat with the reserved 2 tablespoons of olive oil and salt and pepper. Then, serve by topping with the tomato basil pesto.
For a vegan option, substitute the Parmesan cheese with nutritional yeast and add a little more salt. Other additions that would be delicious and to add more protein include warm chopped walnuts, sliced chicken breast or grilled salmon.