Friday, November 5, 2010

Spaghetti Squash with Tomato Spinach Sauce

I'm coming down with a cold and it seems like I'm not the only one. Hopefully it will stay at just a cold and not turn into a full blown flu, like my friend suffered this week. I hate being stopped dead in my tracks, unable to get up off the couch, feeling like I'll never be able to breathe properly again. You know the feeling. As much as I love fall, the change of seasons always gets to me. Between the recent rain and the temperature being anywhere from 80˚ to 40˚, my body isn't sure what to think so I inevitably end up with a cold. But not to worry, I used my cold as an excuse to curl up on my couch with lots of hot tea and caught up on my DVR. So it's not necessarily a bad thing to get a bit of a cold, as long as it doesn't get any worse.
One thing that always works great when you have a cold, or it's just cold outside, is hot comfort food. A big bowl of pasta with a hearty tomato sauce is always an incredibly comforting dish. I realize spaghetti squash does not replace regular pasta, but topped with tomato sauce, it's a great way to enjoy winter squash and is a lot lighter than pasta. When cooked, spaghetti squash creates thin strands, like spaghetti, and is mild enough to be served with any favorite sauce. I made a simple tomato and spinach sauce and topped the whole thing with Parmesan cheese. Warm, comforting, and super healthy, this meal is great for any cold night of the week.

Spaghetti Squash with Tomato Spinach Sauce
  • 1 medium spaghetti squash, cut in half, seeds removed
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 shallot, diced
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
  • 5 oz baby spinach, or 1 large bag
  • 3-4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 cans diced tomatoes
  • Salt and pepper
  • Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 450˚F. Place squash halves, cut side down, on a baking sheet.
Roast for 25-30 minutes, until fork tender.
Heat olive oil in a large pan over medium heat.
Add shallots and garlic cloves. Saute until fragrant, about 5 minutes.
Place spinach in a microwave safe dish and cover with plastic wrap. Microwave for 3 minutes.
Stir spinach and press out as much water as possible with a clean towel or paper towels. Set aside.
Add herbs and spices to shallots and stir to combine.
Stir in both cans of tomatoes and season with about 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper.
Simmer sauce until thickened, about 10-15 minutes.
Stir in spinach and heat through. Taste and season with more salt and pepper if needed.
Allow cooked squash to cool a bit before taking a fork to pull out all of the spaghetti-like strands.
Season squash with salt and pepper, top with tomato sauce and garnish with Parmesan cheese.

For a printable recipe click here

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