This past week, I decided to make a “pasta” dish replacing spaghetti noodles with spaghetti squash. I didn’t follow a recipe but I decided I would blog about the experience because I only used vegetarian, nutritious ingredients. Spaghetti squash is a great alternative to regular pasta noodles because it contains fewer carbs, calories, and more nutritional substance.
First, although I have cooked spaghetti squash prior to this, I decided I would do a bit of research into the best ways to cook it. The Kitchn has a great page dedicated to cooking spaghetti squash. I didn’t use the recipe, but I followed the cooking technique that is mentioned of roasting the squash in the oven.
I started by cutting the whole squash in half using a large, sharp knife. This can be dangerous if you do not handle the knife correctly because spaghetti squash is quite difficult to cut through. Be careful if you decide to cook the squash this way. I then scooped the seeds from the inside of the squash.
After rubbing oil, salt, and pepper on the squash, I placed them on the pan and put into the oven at 375 degrees F for 45-50 minutes.
While the squash was roasting in the oven, I decided to make my own sauce to top it with. I didn’t follow a recipe at all – I used whatever I could find in the fridge and cupboard (sometimes this is the best part about cooking!). I started by frying some red onion, green pepper, and garlic in a pan. Because I was not making a meat sauce, I tried to figure out how I could make a sauce with a bit more substance (compared to just plain tomatoes). I shredded 3 carrots and added them to the pan. I also used minced roasted red peppers, tomato sauce, red vine tomatoes, and crushed tomatoes. To add some more nutritional value, I added fresh spinach when I had the sauce simmering on the stove. For some added flavour, I threw in some chopped Kalamata olives and capers.
Once the squash was done cooking, I pulled it out of the oven and lightly scraped the squash’s flesh with a fork. As you can see, the squash breaks off into string, similar to spaghetti noodles.
This is a great alternative to heavy, carb-filled pasta dishes. Although spaghetti squash recipes might be better suited for winter weather, I find it to to be a healthy and easy way to incorporate more vegetables into a diet.