Create a colorful side dish or a satisfying meatless meal using spaghetti squash as your base.
Preparation Time: 30 mins
Cooking Time: 1 hr
Preheat the oven to 375ºF. Pierce the squash in half a dozen places with a thin knife. Bake the squash on a piece of foil in the preheated oven until it yields slightly when firmly pressed, 50 to 60 minutes.
Meanwhile, peel the tomatoes using a swivel-bladed vegetable peeler with serrated blade. Alternatively, you can blanch the tomatoes in boiling water for one minute, transfer to an ice bath, then peel by hand. Halve, seed and dice the tomatoes.
Heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and sauté until translucent, about 4 minutes. Mix in the garlic and cook another 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the tomatoes, red pepper flakes, salt, basil and oregano. Cook, stirring until the tomatoes are tender and floating in juices (but still hold their shape), about 5 minutes. Season with black pepper.
Halve the baked squash horizontally. Scrape out and discard the seeds. Using a fork, scrape out the squash in strands. Divide 4 cups of the squash among 4 deep pasta bowls. Spoon 1/4 of the sauce over the squash in each bowl. Serve immediately.
If desired, mix in tomatoes and mushrooms or broccoli and sweet peppers to add flavor and nutrients.
Or, for more protein, sauté vegetables with ground turkey breast, leftover cooked chicken, or cheese, and spoon over the baked squash.
Serving suggestions are not included in the nutritional analysis and may not be vegetarian, dairy or gluten-free, if vegetarian, dairy or gluten-free is desired.
For optimal flavor and texture, bake the squash (steaming and microwaving can make it taste watery). Once cooked, halve the squash and use a fork to scrape out its fibrous flesh into spaghetti-like strands.
The riper the tomatoes, the better. If purchasing from a store, let tomatoes stand 2 to 3 days at room temperature, as needed, to get very ripe.