Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Baked Spaghetti Squash with Tomatoes and Basil

My apologies for not posting this spaghetti squash with tomatoes and basil recipe as soon as I had hoped, but alas here is the recipe as promised.  I am not the biggest fan of spaghetti squash, I think it is kind of weird, and kind of insipid.  It seems like you have to add a lot of other flavors for the squash to actually taste like something.  It does have a pretty amazing texture though, which is why it is called spaghetti squash - duh.  In the original recipe from The Martha Stewart Living Cookbook, the squash is stuffed with the tomatoes and basil mixture and baked in oven.  I had half a stuffed squash for my meal, and although it was delicious, it honestly should be a side dish.  So I have edited the recipe to be baked in a casserole dish instead of the squash shell and tweaked it just a bit.  The photos are from my first attempt, so just imagine the squash filling in a casserole dish instead of a shell.

Ingredients for Baked Spaghetti Squash with Tomatoes and Basil, adapted from The Martha Stewart Living Cookbook, serves 4:

-1 large spaghetti squash, or 2 medium
-16 fresh plum tomatoes, or whole tomatoes from a can (I used a combo - some from my CSA, some from a can)
-2 cloves garlic, peeled
-2 tablespoons olive oil
-4 ounces basil, plus sprigs for garnish
-1 teaspoon kosher salt
-1/4 freshly ground pepper
-1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, finely grated

Place spaghetti squash in a stockpot and cover with 2 inches of water.  Cover and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer and cook for another 20 to 30 minutes, until slightly tender when you press it with your finger.

Cut in half crosswise, and stand the halves on ends, and set aside to let cool for 15 minutes.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.  Meanwhile chop 12 tomatoes into 1/2 inch pieces and place in large bowl with 1/4 cup of the grated Parmesan.  Slice the remaining 4 into 1/4-inch thick rounds and set aside.

Place garlic, olive oil, basil leaves, salt, and pepper into a food processor.  Process until the basil has been very finely chopped.  Place basil mixture in the bowl with the tomatoes.
After the squash has cooled, scooped out the seeds and discard.  Then take a fork and scrape the flesh, it will separate like spaghetti strands (whoa - so cool).  Add squash to the tomato-basil mixture and toss to combine.
Place squash mixture into a small casserole dish and spread evenly.  Place sliced tomatoes on top and sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup of Parmesan.
Bake for about 30 minutes, or until the cheese is golden and the squash is hot.  Garnish with basil sprigs and serve hot.

Last year, around this time I took a trip to Montreal.  Click here to check out my food adventures.

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