Monday, December 3, 2012

Spaghetti Squash with Arugula Pomodoro Sauce

Since Jeffy died I've been throwing myself into food therapy to help myself grieve. It gives me something to do, and besides that ... as usual, I love it because the hard work pays off, and I get to eat the results! Everyone knows about my love of squash, but I must admit that spaghetti squash is a recent thing for me. I didn't quite "get it" before making this recipe. I mean, of course, yes, squash is good, but this is great. I actually understand now why people give up pasta for spaghetti squash. I'm sure that most of them do it because they have to, rather than because they want to, but I will say it right here: this recipe is so good it makes me want to give up eating pasta and become a spaghetti squash addict.

Seriously.

You all should try this recipe. I am sharing it with you today because all I want to do is go to the store, buy more ingredients and do it all over again! It's that good.

This recipe is based off of this one from Epicurious, but I've made some modifications.

Ingredients:
1 spaghetti squash
Olive oil cooking spray (I use a Misto)
4-5 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 small onion, finely chopped (I used red)
2 tbsp olive oil (roughly)
1 can (28 oz) diced tomatoes
3 tbsp tomato paste
1 tsp white wine vinegar
2 tbsp Italian spices (alternately, use dried basil & oregano)
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (or to taste)
1 bunch arugula
Salt & Pepper (to taste)
1 bunch fresh basil

How to:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Cut squash in half, scoop out seeds & spray the insides with olive oil. I then blanket them with salt & pepper before baking, because that makes them even more delicious later:

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Spaghetti squash, pre-oven 
After they look like they do up there, turn them over on a baking sheet, spray olive oil over the outsides (this may not be necessary, but I do it every time) and bake for 35-45 minutes (depending on your oven), until the squash is easily pierced with a fork/skewer. To get the "spaghetti" all you need to do is run a fork across the squash meat crosswise. It will become clear to you immediately whether you're doing it right.

To me, this is the fun of spaghetti squash! Enjoy this part! It's amazing to see the squash come apart in strands that look just like spaghetti (and taste great)! Maybe I'm a nerd, but it's so much fun. This is the step in the process where I began to think about how I could give up pasta forever.

While your squash is baking, prepare your sauce:

Sauté garlic & onion in olive oil for about five minutes, stirring continuously so as to avoid burning the garlic (this from a seasoned garlic-burner!). Add all other ingredients except for arugula and basil, and simmer on the stove (on low) for approximately 30 minutes. Don't let the ingredients boil, and do stir it frequently to make sure all of the flavors are mixing and nothing is burning.

Right before you serve your meal, add the arugula and stir until it's wilted but not overly cooked.

To serve: put spaghetti squash into bowl(s), scoop sauce on top & garnish with fresh basil. Voila! 

It's so ridiculously simple, but it packs a punch. Scott & I had second and even third servings (well, I did at least!) and the leftovers helped feed us for our brunch the next morning. The only thing I'd say about this recipe is that there just isn't enough to go around ... you will love this dish, and you will want more.

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the finished dish: OM NOM NOM 

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