And I didn't make any plans.
And then, I had lunch with my girlfriends on Friday afternoon that ended with a wee bit of a buzz. Whatever.
Then, I got home and only left the house to practice yoga for the next three days.
I slept a lot.
I ate a lot.
I cooked a ton.
I barely spoke to anyone.
This was one of the things I made!
My grandfather send us this spaghetti squash a few weeks ago, and I'd been thinking about ways to use it. I'd never eaten spaghetti squash, and I was a little wary of people who said "it tastes JUST like pasta!"
Um, no. It's squash. Squash doesn't taste like pasta!
But THIS squash does. Seriously. I was surprised to!
So, with a few simple steps, we end up with a lovely low-carb, vegetarian meal PACKED with flavor from all the spices.
And with cheese on top.
Let's get to it!
Here's what you need, for two large portions:
- 1 medium spaghetti squash
- 1 tablespoon butter
- cooking spray, olive oil, salt, pepper
- 1 stalk celery
- 1 small carrot
- ¼ large onion, or ½ small onion
- 1 large can tomatoes
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 small chili pepper
- ½ cup white wine
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons curry powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- crushed red pepper flakes, to taste
- 2 oz monterrey jack or mozzarella
- 2 oz parmesan
- pesto and crusty bread, for serving (optional)
The spices are really what make this dish. It turned out so flavorful!
The squash takes about an hour to cook, so we'll start that first.
Preheat you oven to 450F, and cut the squash in half. Use a spoon to scoop out the seeds and guts - just like Halloween!
Spray a baking sheet or roasting pan with cooking spray, and liberally salt and pepper the insides of the squash.
Then flip the squash over and roast it cut side down for 45 - 60 minutes until it's very tender.
Nice and soft - if a fork slides into the flesh easily you'll know it's done.
When the squash is cooked, allow it to cool until you can handle it. Then scoop out the flesh with a large spoon into a bowl. Save the squash peel for later - we're going to use it as a serving dish!
Add the butter to the squash, and shred it into "spaghetti" with two forks. Add more salt and pepper if you'd like!
While the squash is cooking, make the marinara.
Cut the carrot into long strips, and then cut it into little cubes.
Then do the same with the celery....
....and chop the onion. As long as everything is about the same size, you can make it as big or as little as you'd like!
Heat a pan to medium heat and add the celery, onion, and carrot with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of salt.
While the first round of veggies is softening, thinly slice the chili pepper. Leave the seeds in if you like things super spicy!
Then, mince the garlic cloves.
Once the veggies are slightly softened, add the garlic and pepper and stir for one minute.
Then, dump in all the spices! The smell here is SO great. Stir all the spices and veggies together for 2 minutes to combine them really well.
Now, dump in the wine!
When the wine is bubbly and reduced by about half, add the tomatoes.
Stir the sauce to bring everything together, and taste it. Add more salt if you'd like.
Now, I had some time, so I let the tomato sauce simmer for 1 hour. To do that, I added 1 cup of water so it wouldn't thicken too much.
If you only have time for a little bit of simmering, just add ¼ cup of water at a time as the sauce thickens and bubbles.
While the sauce is simmering, grate the cheese!
Now, you could do all these steps well in advance and just assemble the squashes when you're ready to serve - it's up to you!
To assemble, place a big pile of squash into the peel that you reserved.
Then cover it with the spicy marinara...
....and dump on lots of cheese.
Now, broil them on low for 5 - 10 minutes. By using the low setting we allow the squash to reheat while the cheese browns.
When the cheese browns, we're ready!
This is so stinking good. I can't wait to make it again!
Now, it's so wonderful just like this...squash, sauce, cheese...
...but what if we added a big scoop of our own pesto and some crusty bread?
Yes. Do that.
Now, of course you could skip the boat-serving option and put all the squash in a baking dish, top it with sauce and cheese and broil it that way - it will still taste great!
This is really stinking cute, though.
Maybe a weekend project? I vote yes. Try this one ASAP!
This is definitely weekendy enough to be a part of a Weekend Potluck - check out the delicious Tonya and her family over at 4LittleFergusons. She, Marsha, Kim&Julie, Holly, Brandie, and Tabitha all have this fun roundup of recipes each Friday – there are some great ideas for what you might make at some point this weekend! Click here to see the latest list!