Let's Dish: Spaghetti Squash

January 29, 2013 2:14:01 PM PST
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.

Let's Dish airs on the Live Well Network

Difficulty: Moderate
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
Serves: 6

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 3/4 cups)
1/4 cup red wine (optional)
24-26 oz. jar of marinara sauce
1 - 3 1/2 to 4 pound spaghetti squash
3 oz. fresh baby spinach
1/4 cup fresh grated parmesan cheese
4+ Tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

1. To prepare the tomato sauce, saute 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, saute 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.