Not Just A Clever Name

Since my initial discovery of spaghetti squash a few years ago, I’ve enjoyed experimenting with several different ways to cook the squash (including one that resulted in an explosion of spaghetti squash all over my kitchen), as well as many different preparation methods.

The squash doesn’t share the same moniker as the Italian favorite because it’s just a clever name; the cooked gourd actually produces long spaghetti-like strands.

In fact, I’ve found that the versatile vegetable is a good stand-in for pasta now and again, and can be used in many of the same dishes that contain pasta.

Don’t get me wrong, I love pasta.

I LOVE PASTA.

But sometimes the pasta is just a vehicle for crave-worthy spicy arrabiata sauce or insanely fresh pesto. Spaghetti squash can act as a carb-free version of the same vehicle, while helping curb the craving.

Below is a step-by-step guide for cooking spaghetti squash, plus a recipe for Tomatoes and Spaghetti Squash with Pesto.

 

Tomatoes and Spaghetti Squash with Pesto

What You Need

  • 1 (2-3 lb) spaghetti squash
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons of jarred pesto
  • 1 large tomato, diced
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Salt and pepper
  • Olive oil

What To Do

  1. Preheat oven to 400°.
  2. Using a large knife, cut the spaghetti squash in half lengthwise.
  3. Scoop out the seeds using a spoon.
  4. Place the spaghetti squash cut side up in a 9X13 baking dish.
  5. Brush the spaghetti squash with olive oil.
  6. Bake in the oven for 1 hour. If the squash is on the smaller side, reduce time to 45 minutes.
  7. When squash is fork tender, remove from oven. Let squash cool slightly.
  8. Using a fork, “comb” out the strands of squash - they should be easy to remove and squash should not be hard or crunchy.
  9. In a skillet, sauté diced tomatoes with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Once tomatoes have started to cook, add spaghetti squash strands and 1 to 2 tablespoons of jarred pesto.
  10. Mix ingredients together until the pesto has coated the squash and tomatoes.
  11. Serve hot and toss with parmesan cheese, and salt and pepper to taste.
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