Hello! Well, I had this past weekend all to myself while my son was competing in the Florida State Latin Forum (state tournament) in Orlando. He left from school with the Latin Club on Thursday and was back super late Saturday night since the kids had the much-anticipated opportunity to blow off steam and enjoy their victories following the tournament at Universal Orlando. So……that gave me an opportunity to cook up a storm and test recipes that have been on my mind. I really don’t recall seeing a lot of spaghetti squash recipes over the past fall and winter months so I thought I would try to come up with something that felt more like spring to utilize this versatile vegetable. I love Pasta Pomodoro – so why not try it using spaghetti squash instead of pasta? I went to Whole Foods last week with the intent on getting their Pasta Pomodoro from the prepared foods section and as would be just my luck, they didn’t have that as one of their offerings that day so perhaps that’s how this recipe transpired. It’s really easy to make once you’ve roasted the squash and hollowed out the tomatoes – the rest of it comes together very quickly. The ingredients are simple….but high-quality ingredients definitely make a difference….. farmer’s market tomatoes and spaghetti squash (thank you Sarasota Farmer’s Market!), delicious, salty Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, and fresh herbs really help to make it an outstanding dish. Your kids will also love it since it does a pretty good job of mimicking spaghetti (anything that resembles pasta in my house is a winner), It’s a wonderful vegetarian dish as well for Meatless Mondays – or any night of the week!! Serve it as an entree or a side – your choice.
Spaghetti Squash Pomodoro
- 4 beefsteak tomatoes
- 2½ – 3 pounds spaghetti squash
- 1 tablespoon pine nuts
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/3 cup finely minced onion
- 1 clove garlic, minced or grated
- 15 leaves fresh basil, rolled up like a cigar and sliced thinly (chiffonade)
- ½ cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese (or any Parmesan that you have), plus more for final assembly and passing at the table
- kosher salt and coarse ground black pepper
- To prepare the spaghetti squash: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Poke several holes in the squash with a knife, place in a baking dish and bakes until soft and browned in spots, about an hour or so. Let cool; cut in half and remove the seeds. With a fork, scrape the strands of flesh into a bowl. Keep oven heated at 400 degrees.
- Slice the tops off the tomatoes ; run a sharp knife along the wall of the tomatoes to loosen the pulp. Using a spoon, remove the pulp, coarsely chop, and set aside.
- In a small, dry skillet, toast the pine nuts until they begin to color, about two minutes. Transfer to a cutting board and chop; set aside.
- In a large skillet or Dutch oven, heat two tablespoons of the butter with the olive oil. Add the onions and garlic and cook over medium-high heat until translucent, about 2-3 minutes. Add tomato pulp and cook for another 2 minutes. Add the remaining tablespoon of butter, stir, and season with salt and pepper.
- Toss in the sliced basil (leaving enough aside for final assembly and serving); add the reserved squash and the Parmigiano Reggiano cheese and stir to combine. Remove from the heat.
- Fill each tomato with the squash-tomato mixture. Top each with a sprinkling of chopped pine nuts and additional Parmesan cheese and basil.
- Place the filled tomatoes in a baking dish and drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil and bake at 400 degrees for 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and let rest for 5-10 minutes. Serve with additional basil and cheese.
© 2014 Kitchen Serendipity | Stacey Siegal