CLEVELAND - Chris Koetke, host of Let's Dish, has a fun and healthy twist on the traditional spaghetti with marinara sauce. By using squash instead of pasta, your dish will not only bring out a new flavor and texture, but also improves the dish's nutrition.
Recipe for Spaghetti Squash
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
4 Tablespoons olive oil
2 cups thinly sliced onions (about 1 large onion)
1 red or green bell pepper, thinly sliced
7 cloves garlic, chopped
2 ripe tomatoes, seeded and diced (about 1 ¾ cups)
¼ cup red wine (optional)
24-26 oz. jar of marinara sauce
1 – 3 ½ to 4 pound spaghetti squash
3 oz. fresh baby spinach
¼ cup fresh grated parmesan cheese
4+ Tablespoons chopped fresh basil
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
1. To prepare the tomato sauce, sauté onions and peppers in 2 Tablespoons of olive oil in a large sauté pan over high heat. Cook until the vegetables are soft.
2. Add 4 cloves of garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add tomatoes and cook for 3 more minutes.
3. Pour in the red wine and bring to a boil. Cook for 2 minutes to evaporate the alcohol from the wine. Add the marinara sauce and continue cooking for 10 more minutes. Reserve and keep warm.
4. Pierce the squash all over with a small paring knife.
5. Place the squash in the microwave and cook on high for 8 minutes. Then, carefully turn over the squash. Continue cooking on high for an additional 7-8 minutes or until the squash gives to gentle pressure. Remove from the microwave and let it cool for 5 minutes. Be careful when handling as it can be very hot.
6. Meanwhile, sauté remaining 3 garlic cloves in remaining 2 Tablespoons of olive oil. Reserve.
7. Once the squash has cooled for 5 minutes, carefully halve the squash lengthwise (there will be steam) and discard seeds. Working over a bowl, scrape squash flesh with a fork into large bowl. Stir in spinach, parmesan cheese, basil, salt, pepper, and garlic and olive oil that had been previously sautéed together.
8. Divide the squash into 4 servings, ladle on the marinara sauce.
Top it with your favorite marinara sauce and you have a great and healthy meal to serve your family. You can find more recipes like this at the Live Well Network.