Wondering what to do with the Spaghetti Squash that seems to be on sale year around in the local markets? Make a low calorie baked spaghetti dish of course! Spaghetti squash is sweet and very much spaghetti pasta like--when baked with the right sauce and cheese. If the family is hesitant to try the dish, involve them in the preparation--and don't forget to toast the spaghetti squash seeds!
Ingredients for Italian Spaghetti Squash
1 Medium Spaghetti Squash
2 tsp. Butter
1 tsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Medium Yellow Onion, Diced
1 Medium Green Bell Pepper, Diced
8 Oz. Fresh Chopped Mushrooms
2 Cloves of Minced Fresh Garlic or 1 tsp. Bottled Minced Garlic
2 Cups of Diced Fresh Tomatoes or 1 28 oz. Can of Diced Tomatoes
1 tsp. Italian Seasoning (Or 1/2 tsp. each of Basil and Oregano)
1/8 tsp. Red Pepper Flakes
1/3 c. Reduced Fat Parmesan Cheese, Grated or Shredded
Instructions for Italian Spaghetti Squash
How to choose your Spaghetti Squash. Choose a firm spaghetti squash that is fairly blemish free--without a number of odd puncture wounds or brown spots. A heavy squash should contain more squash "spaghetti strings" as well as more seeds for toasting! What size should you buy? You will be cooking the squash either in the microwave oven or in the conventional oven in a 9x13 baking dish--or the size available to you--so make sure that your squash will fit in the dish that you plan to use!
Prepare the Spaghetti Squash for Cooking. Whether you will be cooking the squash in the microwave or in the oven, the first step is to clean and prepare the squash. Many recipes suggest that the whole squash be "roasted"in the microwave. Wash the squash on the outside thoroughly and cut the squash in half lengthwise with a sharp knife. Scoop out the seeds and and attached pulp. Don't forget to rinse and save the seeds for toasting!
Roast the Spaghetti Squash. Place cut sides down into a 9x13 baking dish and add a cup of water. Roast in a 375 F oven for approximately 40 minutes or until the squash skin can be slightly depressed. If you choose to microwave, place cut sides down in a microwave baking dish, prick the skin 8-10 times with the tines of a work and cook on high power for approximately 15 minutes or until squash is tender to touch. If you opt to microwave, rotate the dish every five minutes to ensure that the squash cooks evenly.
Prepare the Sauce. In a large saucepan, combine the butter and olive oil and heat over medium heat until the butter is melted and the pan is heated. Add the onions and green peppers and saute until nearly tender. Add the mushrooms and garlic, continuing to saute until the mushrooms are tender--taking care not to burn the garlic. Add the tomatoes and the italian seasoning, bring the mixture to a boil, reduce heat and simmer over low heat for 15 minutes.
Create Spaghetti. Preheat the oven to 350 F--or simply turn down the heat if the squash was oven roasted. The squash will be hot after roasting in either the microwave or the oven--so you may wish to let it cool for a few minutes before handling! Spray either a 9x13 inch baking dish or a large sized casserole dish liberally with cooking spray. Carefully remove the spaghetti like strings from the sqush and put the strings directly into the baking dish--evening out the strings as needed. Once all of the strings have been removed, discard the skin and top the "spaghetti" with the tomato vegetable sauce. Sprinkle with the red pepper flakes and the parmesan cheese. Cover and bake for 30 minutes.
Serve with Garlic Bread and a Salad if desired. Rather than a green salad, a protein rich cold bean salad may be preferred to balance out the meal. Alternatively, if meat is added, choose a lean, grilled chicken breast or fish.
**This Recipe has been moved to A Mama's Corner of the World from A Mama's World of Recipes. We will no longer be posting recipes on A Mama's World of Recipes and will eventually move all previous posts here!
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