Thursday, December 18, 2014

Roasted Spaghetti Squash with Marinara Sauce

Though Gudiya hasn't told me so, I have a feeling that she thinks that the best cook in the entire world is - not her food-obsessed, food-blogging mother but - her school head cook/cafeteria manager. After all Mrs. C whips up the most delicious spudsters, mashed potatoes and gravy, pulled pork sandwiches, meatballs and so on. Gudiya's almost vegan mom doesn't even come close!!;-)

But I have no issues there. Mrs. C is a fine lady and I love her dearly. She is not only a good cook but she is an inspiration. She has taken Mrs. Obama's school lunches to another level. She has encouraged school kids to plant and grow vegetables in the school backyard. So kindergartners plant seeds in small cups. When the seedlings grow, kids take turns to plant, tend, water, harvest vegetables. They even go to school during summer vacation to tend to their garden. All the kids get delighted to see where the food is coming from. They are not afraid to pop that juicy cherry tomato and make a mess. They laugh and enjoy their harvest when they see it appear on the salad bar of the school cafeteria. Every once in a while, Mrs. C hosts "Taste" event to introduce a "new or not tried before" vegetable. Two weeks ago, she hosted "Spaghetti Squash Taste Event". So even if students are not buying their lunch from the cafeteria, they get a chance to taste the unknown vegetables. Gudiya was really gung ho about spaghetti squash. Now, I always knew the theory - Roast'm, Scrape'm and eat'm! But I wasn't sure about how to proceed. I met Mrs. C during her Master Gardeners event with kids and she shared her recipe with me and also encouraged me to make it.

I found 2 good-looking and smallish spaghetti squash on sale at Sprouts. So I decided to try her recipe. I microwaved each squash for a minute so it was easier for me to cut into halves. This trick I had learned from Anupama's Food and More.

Roasted Spaghetti Squash with Marinara Sauce
2 Medium Spaghetti Squash, rinsed, patted dry
Oil Spray
Salt and black pepper as needed

A jar of Marinara Sauce - homemade or store bought

1/4 cup Mozzarella cheese
A sprinkle of crushed red pepper (Optional)

1. Preheat Oven to 375 F
2. Microwave each squash for about a minute. Cut each into halves.
3.Remove all the seeds and flesh.
4. Spray oil over the squash. Apply generously.
5. Sprinkle Salt and black pepper
6. Place cut-side down on a greased baking sheet.
6. Bake for 45 - 60 minutes.
7. Take out and leave aside for 10 minutes or so till it's easier to handle.
8. Flip the halves.
9. Using a fork, scrape the squash so "threads" or "Spaghetti noodles" are seen.
10. Add Marinara sauce
11. Sprinkle Mozzarella cheese if using.
12. Put back in the oven for 5 minutes till cheese is melted.
13. Serve immediately. Sprinkle crushed red pepper if desired.

Note -
1. I remove the seeds from the squash, wash and pat dry. I then place them onto a baking sheet and let them roast along with the squash to get the roasted seeds.

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