Spaghetti Squash Pomodoro

spaghetti squash tomato:basil bowl

I wish I could say to you that this recipe for spaghetti squash with tomatoes will taste just as delicious as a dish of regular spaghetti, but I can’t.   It’s just not so. I do have to laugh whenever I hear people say that you won’t miss pasta once you’ve tried this low carb alternative. While this is absolutely delicious ( what wouldn’t be with a delicious sauce of fresh tomatoes and basil ), it is not ever going to replace real 100% semolina pasta as far as I’m concerned. However, it does make an absolutely delicious side dish that I think you will truly enjoy. I am always looking for some lower carb side dishes just like everyone else. I’ll save my carb calories for a large dish of real pasta, thank you very much

I’ve had a lot of fun with this vegetable, trying to come up with the sauce that I think is most compatible with this light tasting, spaghetti shaped vegetable. Do let your imagination run wild a bit. I would say that almost any sauce that you enjoy on pasta, would taste delicious on this squash. You just want to be careful not to over- sauce it, as the strands of the squash are delicate. I’ve chosen my cherry tomato and basil sauce (which you can also find in the archives ) because I feel it is a light sauce with an aroma that blends well with the spaghetti squash. On another occasion, I added a bit of sliced zucchini to the skillet of tomatoes, and that also worked marvelously. I love that sauce with this as well.  I’ve included both recipes.

I’ll also explain two ways to cook the squash. One way is in the oven, and the other is in the microwave. I was afraid to use the microwave at first , as I had read that it might explode…and what a mess that would be. But if you pierce the skin, I think the chances of that are quite small. I’ve used the microwave at least 6 times now, and nothing has gone wrong. I hope that’s not a jinx!!

RECIPE:

1 spaghetti squash, about 2 lbs

1 pint of cherry tomatoes, halved

1 large zucchini, sliced thin (if using)

2 cloves of garlic, sliced thin

4 TBSP olive oil

1 cup of loosely packed basil leaves

sea salt (I’m into Celtic sea salt right now…another story) and pepper to taste

Freshly grated parmigiano cheese

1.  To microwave the squash, I carefully put 1 inch gashes all around the squash…maybe 10 slits in all, and microwave it on high for about 12 minutes.  Cool for at least 10 minutes before cutting it open.

2.  To cook the squash in the oven, preheat to 450 degrees.  Cut the squash in half and place, cut side down in a glass baking dish with 1/2 in water.  Bake for 50 to 60 minutes.  Let cool.

3.  While the squash is cooking, using whichever method you prefer, start the sauce.

4.  Put the oil, garlic, tomatoes and sea salt  (and zucchini if using) in a large skillet that will hold the squash as well.  Cover and cook on low heat for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.  The tomatoes ( and zucchini) should be soft.  Add the basil at the end.

5.  When the squash is cool enough to handle, clean out any seeds.  Then using a fork, gently scrape the squash to remove the flesh in long, spaghetti like strands.

6. Place the strands of squash into the skillet with the tomatoes, and gently stir to combine over a low flame.  I like to use tongs with this since it is so delicate.  Place in a serving bowl and add grated parmigiano cheese.

spaghetti squash ovenpoolside pasta tomatoesspaghetti squash tomato:zuchini1spaghetti squash tomato:zucchini2soaghetti squash tomato:basil panspaghetti squash tomato:basil bowlspaghetti squash closeup

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