What if you could enjoy the flavours of a classic and heart warming Italian dish without having to worry about the negative impact it might have on your body?
What if you could find a replacement that is naturally rich in nutrients, low in carbohydrates and even looks like the spaghetti noodle?
Might you be convinced to try it?
Drum roll please….
…I present to you, The Spaghetti Squash!
Before you shake your head and say – “I’ll never give up my favourite pasta dish for sauce on squash” – hear me out…
I’m sure most Italians would agree that the magic in a bowl of pasta comes from the sauce. Nonna’s sauce tastes amazing on just about anything!
So my theory is, if you have the perfect sauce, the noodle just doesn’t matter as much.
We’ve all tasted a not so good tomato sauce at one point or another. Bottom line is, if the sauce ain’t good, the pasta ain’t good, no matter how perfect the noddle.
That doesn’t mean we should put less attention on the noodle, but it does mean we have a little room for play instead.
So now that I have you half convinced, let’s move forward to cooking the perfect spaghetti squash. The trick here is simple – don’t overcook it! This will ensure that you maintain the traditional ‘al dente’ texture of the noodle. See my instructions on cooking spaghetti squash below.
Now for the magic. I love to keep my tomato sauce simple and classic – as the smell fills my home with memories of my grandparent’s kitchen growing up.
You can choose to add meat to this dish in order to make it a complete meal with protein. My favourite addition would be grass-fed ground beef. See my instructions below.
‘Spaghetti’ with a Classic Tomato Sauce
INGREDIENTS (serves 2-3):
1 spaghetti squash
1 can pureed tomatoes (600-700 ml)
2 garlic cloves (crushed)
1 tsp. dried basil or 2-3 fresh basil leaves
1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 lb ground beef (optional)
Sea salt and black pepper to taste
1. Cut spaghetti squash lengthwise and remove seeds with spoon.
2. Bake at 400 for 30-40 min (first 10 min bake with flesh down, then turn so skin is down for remaining time).
3. Fork should pierce skin easily when squash is cooked. Cooking time varies depending on the size of the squash. Check regularly to avoid overcooking the squash.
4. Use a fork to scrape out the strands of squash.
Classic Tomato Sauce:
1. In a sauce pan, sauté garlic and basil in olive oil over medium-high heat (2 min).
2. Add tomatoes and bring to a light boil for 5 min.
3. Add salt to taste.
4. Bring to medium-low heat and let simmer for 30-45 min.
5. Add tomato sauce on top of cooked squash noodles.
6. Kiss your finger tips then toss them away from your lips!
Make it a complete meal by adding protein:
1. Over medium-high heat, cook ground beef in a separate pan (10-15 minutes).
2. Add salt and pepper to taste.
3. Combine cooked beef and tomato sauce then place on top of spaghetti squash.
Feel free to use another type of protein for this dish. Like I said, a great tomato sauce taste amazing with just about anything.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this dish once you’ve given it a go. Just leave a message in the comment section below.