Spaghetti squash is truly a fascinating beast. Cut it in half, roast it, and voila! Spaghetti noodles are created. It belongs to the family of summer squashes such as zucchini and yellow crookneck, and winter varieties such as acorn and delicata. The spaghetti squash’s sweet light flavor lends itself to all manner of pasta sauces.
Unless you serve a side or basket of bread, no carbs rear their heads in this recipe. The savory tomato sauce and the “noodles” provide a super satisfying meal. Once the spaghetti squash is baked, all it takes is a fork to loosen the flesh into uniform noodles.
What happens if my squash is just too hard to cut into?
I used to really struggle with this problem until I discovered a helpful tip. Once you preheat the oven, place the whole squash on the oven rack and heat for 10 minutes. Remove, cool, and then begin to cut into the squash. This pre-cooking step will soften it just enough for smooth cutting. The spaghetti squash has a much thinner skin than, say, the kobocha or other hard-rind winter squashes.
I have kindly included a video of the steps for your viewing pleasure. (see below) The video has musical accompaniment, so be sure to turn down the sound if in a public place! Buon appeitio!
Spaghetti Squash Pasta
- 1 spaghetti squash
- 3 Tbsp. olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
- 1 sprig fresh rosemary
- 1 28 oz. can of whole tomatoes, pureed
- ½ onion, chopped
- 1 Tbsp. red or white wine vinegar
- 1 sprig mint, optional
- 1 dollop ricotta cheese, optional
- Preheat oven to 400 °F.
- Cut spaghetti squash in half, lengthwise, Spoon out and discard the seeds, and place the halves cut-side up on a baking dish. Bake for 30 – 40 minutes until fork tender. Remove from oven and cool.
- In the meantime, heat the 2 Tbsp. olive oil in a large saucepan. Add the garlic cloves and rosemary and cook on medium until fragrant, about 2-3 minutes. Add the pureed tomatoes and a pinch of salt. Simmer uncovered for 20 minutes to thicken slightly, stirring occasionally.
- When the squash halves are cool enough to touch, use a fork and scrape out the insides. The action of scraping the fork over the meat of the spaghetti squash will miraculously create noodles. The spaghetti squash is unique in this feature. Continue until all of the flesh is removed from the squash halves. Collect the "noodles" in a bowl.
- Heat 1 Tbsp. olive oil in a medium saucepan and add the chopped onion. Saute until fragrant, about 2-3 minutes. Add the spaghetti squash. Stir and cook for 7 minutes until slightly softened. Deglaze with 1 Tbsp. of red or white wine vinegar and cook 2 more minutes, stirring often.
- Add the cooked spaghetti squash to the tomato sauce and stir. Heat for a few minutes so the squash noodles absorb the flavor of the tomato sauce.
- Serve immediately. Garnish with fresh mint, ricotta cheese, or eat as is.