Spaghetti squash is the one type of winter squash I normally avoid. I always had issues with spaghetti growing up. Somehow, I always managed to get more sauce on my face and my immediate surroundings (the counter, wall, floor …) than in my belly. Pre-cutting, fork and spoon technique, or Lady and the Tramp style – it didn’t matter. And thus I avoided stringy foods, including spaghetti squash. But when you live on a budget and like to expand your culinary horizons, the spaghetti squash beacons. Always one to rise to a challenge and craving something spring-ier than my standard curry, I decided to give it a go. The result was less of a recipe and more of a stream of consciousness, coupled with copious amounts of time staring into my pantry.
I first cut the squash in half lengthwise. Unlike other squashes, Spaghetti squash is directional, so this resulted in much shorter spaghetti ‘strands’. I was okay with this, but if you don’t have the same spaghetti eating issues that I do, cutting the squash in half width-wise may be advisable. I then
stabbed poked the surface with a fork a couple of times, and placed face down on a cookie sheet to roast at 375dF for 45min. While that was going, I made Spicy Sweet Potato Bean Balls, based on my Burger recipe. Instead of a grain, I used the same amount in mashed sweet potato. Genius! With 10min to go on the squash, I quickly whipped up a spicy tomato sauce made of 2c. diced tomatoes, 2 jalapenos, 1/2t. ground cumin, and 1t. minced garlic. Let the squash rest when you take it out of the oven so you don’t burn your fingers. Flip it over, and scrape the inside with a fork to make your lovely spaghetti. Top the spaghetti with your tomato sauce and a bean ball or two, and volia! Dinner in 45min or so.
The result is absolutely delicious. Spaghetti squash “pasta” is my new favourite type of pasta. The burger recipe made stand out bean balls, and the sweet potato was a nice change from the rice/quinoa formula. The latin tomato sauce added some flavour, but leftovers were devoured without the sauce. Straight-up diced tomatoes were amazing too! For a complete vegetable feast, serve on top of a bed of greens. This is just one suggestion – clearly adapt to your cravings! A sauce of your favourite cheese sauce would be delicious. Or hummus inspired topped with sliced nuts. Or just straight up with some fresh herbs. Let your pantry speak to you!
Now who said that comfort food can’t be healthy?