Tuesday, December 21, 2010
What The ____ Is That?! Part Deux
Decided to take a friend up on her advice and made Spaghetti Squash Marinara for the first time ever. I love spaghetti, and didn't think it was possible for me to love it more...but this totally made my taste buds high-five each other. Freaking blissful amazingness, is the only valid way to describe it. I was a little skeptical when she said, once cooked the squash will make noodle-like shapes if you drag a fork across it...but I'll be damned, sure enough that's exactly what happened.
Here's how you tame the spaghetti squash:
First you cut it in half lengthwise. Then poke holes in the skin with a fork
You can use the squash's skin as a bowl as you scrape out it's innards. When you scrape out all the guts, you can put it on a plate then top it with your favorite marinara sauce, for a nice vegetarian dish. Or if you are an animal lover, and a self proclaimed member of PETA (not the naked, angry PETA, the People Eating Tasty Animals:PETA) add some meat sauce or meatballs to your squash. I chose the meat sauce and just added some ground beef to some marinara that I canned over the summer. SOOOO GOOOD. I didn't miss the starchy noodles one bit, and actually I prefer the squash noodles, because I can eat a lot more and I don't feel like I'm going to explode. One cup of squash only has 42 calories and is packed full of folic acid, potassium, vitamin A, and beta carotene. I'm definitely going to plant some this year. So in conclusion, I am really pissed at myself for not trying winter squash sooner, I've been missing out for 25 years of my life! Don't make the same mistake.
Homemade marinara is really easy, once you put your ingredients together it just takes a while to simmer so don't be intimidated! I like a flavorful, thin sauce without the crazy chunks and surprises floating around in it. So my recipe is pretty simple:
My Homemade Marinara
2 16oz cans of tomato sauce
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 tbsp Oregano
2 tbsp Basil
1 Bay Leaf
2 tbsp onion powder
1 tbsp Chili powder
Salt to taste (1/2Tbsp or so)
Add all ingredients to a big saucepan and simmer, uncovered for at least 45 min or until sauce is the desired consistency. The longer it simmers, the more thick and flavorful it gets. Be prepared for your stove to look like a war zone if you don't watch your pot. You don't want it to boil, just simmer (small, calm bubbles). Stir every 10 minutes or so to keep from burning. Add to any pasta, spaghetti squash, or pizzas. I always make french bread pizzas with my leftover sauce.
I recently found this recipe for Spaghetti Squash Stir Fry that I will most definitely try soon! Happy eating!