I am obsessed with spaghetti squash. I forgot about it all summer, but now I am seeing it on the grocery shelves and I had to buy one this week. It is just my “pastaterian” (I made that up, or a friend did, meaning he would only eat pasta if I let him) son and I for dinner tonight, and I decided I would make a big pot of vegetable ragu and add ground beef to a portion of the ragu to make it Bolognese-like for him. This way everyone is happy with little extra effort. This provided plenty of leftover sauce to freeze for later use.
Part of my obsession with spaghetti squash is that when cooked it really shreds like spaghetti! On top of that it is healthy – one cup is only 42 calories, it has fiber, vitamin A, several B vitamins, as well as vitamins C, E and K. This is pretty much the same recipe as Spaghetti Squash Parmesan with Vegetable Ragu but I am making it a separate recipe so people can find it easily. Basically the difference is baking the dish in the squash shells and topping with mozzarella cheese versus with this recipe I scoop out all the spaghetti squash and serve it like a pasta with sauce and a sprinkling of parmesan cheese.
Spaghetti Squash with Vegetable Ragu
Fun and healthy twist on spaghetti with a vegetarian pasta sauce using spaghetti squash and a hearty vegetable ragu.
- Olive oil
- 1 medium sweet onion, cut into a small dice
- 6 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 red bell pepper, cut into a small dice
- 8 oz mushrooms, sliced thin
- 2 Tablespoons tomato paste
- 24 oz. can low-sodium crushed tomatoes
- 24 oz. can low-sodium diced tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon dry oregano (or fresh if it is available)
- 1/2 teaspoon dry basil (or fresh if it is available)
- 1/4 teaspoon dry thyme
- salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
- crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
- 1 large spaghetti squash (or more if you are feeding more than 2 or 3 people)
- olive oil (spray if available)
- salt and freshly ground salt and pepper to taste
- freshly grated parmesan cheese
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- Carefully slice the squash in half from top to bottom. Remove the seeds with a spoon by scooping them out and lightly scraping the inside of the squash to get it completely seed-free.
- Spray or rub a little olive oil on the inside of the squash and sprinkle with a little salt and pepper. Place cut side down on a lightly oiled baking sheet and bake for about 45 minutes or until tender and slightly golden on the cut sides.
- While the squash cooks, prep the vegetables and make the sauce by heating some olive oil in a dutch oven or stock pot over medium-high heat.
- Sauté the onions for a few minutes, then add the garlic and sauté another minute. Add the sliced mushrooms and chopped bell pepper. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook until the vegetables are softened.
- Stir in the tomato paste and cook one minute. Add the tomatoes, herbs and a little more salt and pepper and red pepper flakes if desired. Bring to a boil and then simmer uncovered for at least 30 minutes, longer if possible so the sauce gets thick.
- When the squash is tender remove it from the oven and let cool slightly.
- Run the fork along on the inside so it divides up like spaghetti and put in a bowl. Discard the squash “skin.”
- Serve squash strands with the vegetable ragu and a sprinkling of freshly grated parmesan cheese. Enjoy!
- You can slice the very top and bottom of the squash to make it easier and safer before cutting it in half, or you can microwave the squash for a minute or two (poke a hole in the squash first) to soften it slightly before cutting.
- You can save time by using jarred pasta sauce, but I think that the sauce plays a very important role here, so I prefer to make my own. This recipe actually makes much more sauce than you will need, so I freeze the rest for another use. Make once and eat many more times! I put mine on homemade pizza the next day!
https://healthyseasonalcooking.wordpress.com September 26, 2018