Fancy Pants Spaghetti Squash
By Jenny Warshafsky
This elegant and delicious squash recipe is meant to be a side dish, but I could eat it as my meal any day of the week. It’s a great side to serve when company is coming over since you can prep the squash the night before (or even two nights before) and sauté just before serving. If you plan to bake and sauté the squash all at once, I suggest using the baking time to prep all your other ingredients.
1 spaghetti squash, halved and seeded
2 plum tomatoes (or an equivalent amount of any other tomato), cubed
1 small onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, crushed and roughly chopped
1-2 cups kale (or other dark leafy green), cleaned and chopped
2 bay leaves
1/4 tsp dried sage
Salt and pepper to taste
Toasted pine nuts for top (optional)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Place the spaghetti squash halves cut side up in a baking dish large enough to hold both halves and drizzle with about 1T of olive oil.
Bake spaghetti squash on the top rack for about an hour or until squash is easily pierced with a fork (the edges will be brown).
Remove squash from oven and let cool.
Meanwhile, heat up a large pan over medium high heat and have a wooden spoon ready for cooking.
Add about 1 T of olive oil to your hot pan, followed by the bay leaves and garlic.
Cook about 30 seconds (or until garlic becomes fragrant) and immediately add onions. Move everything around the pan to keep the garlic from burning.
Cook onions for about 1 minute (or until translucent).
Add tomatoes to the pan and cook 3-5 minutes or until they start to break down.
Smash the tomatoes in the pan so that all the seeds and juice are squeezed out (this is not a science - just get some of the juice into the pan to help flavor things).
Add the kale to the pan and cook, stirring, about 2 minutes or until slightly wilted (if you are using a less hearty green like spinach, don’t add until after the next step).
Scoop the goodies from your squash (this is easily done with a large spoon) and discard the skins (you can add this directly to the pan if you’re confident you won’t accidentally drop any skin in; otherwise, scoop into a bowl and then into the pan).
Add the dried sage (if you are using a less hearty green, this is the time to add it) and stir everything to combine.
The last and critical step is to add salt (at least two or three heavy pinches) and pepper to taste.
Optional: Pick out the bay leaves if desired; sprinkle with toasted pine nuts if using.