Monday, February 11, 2013

ChezCindy: Spaghetti Squash Spaghetti

This recipe is influenced by the fabulous Napa Valley chef Michael Chiarello. Chef of the celebrated Tra Vigne restaurant, and most recent restaurant Bottega, Chef Chiarello specializes in Italian cuisine featuring fresh California ingredients. He is author to 7 cookbooks; founder of NapaStyle cookware and home goods, presenting a Napa Valley way of life. I came upon this recipe in his Tra Vigne Cookbook and was amazed at how delicious this meatless recipe is.

The recipe uses spaghetti squash along with spaghetti noodles. To paraphrase Chef Chiarello, I would like to tell you to eat this because it is full of great nutrition, but really, eat it because it tastes great!

Chef Chiarello uses Parmesan cheese with his recipe and adds a bit of spice to his tomato sauce by incorporating cooked, mashed jalapeno pepper into it. I skipped the heat of the jalapeno and used goat cheese in my sauce. This comfort meal is satisfying and delicious.

Spaghetti Squash Spaghetti
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 spaghetti squash, about 2 pounds
1/2 pound thin spaghetti pasta
1 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons flat leaf parsley, chopped
3 cups tomato sauce

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut the squash in half, scoop out and discard the fibers and seeds. Season the cut side of the squash with olive oil, salt & pepper. Place cut side down onto a rimmed baking sheet. Add 1 cup of water to the pan to help steam the squash.

Bake the squash until tender, 45-55 minutes.  Remove from the oven and let cool.  When cool enough to handle, scrape the squash out of the shells in long strands into a large bowl.  Season with salt, pepper and butter.  Set aside. 

Prepare the pasta as directed on package.  When the pasta is done, drain; add to the bowl with the squash.  Toss well, but gently.

Warm the tomato sauce, either your homemade or favorite jar.  Stir in the crumbled goat cheese to the warmed sauce.  Add enough sauce to the spaghetti to coat as desired.  Sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese and chopped parsley. 


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