I think it’s safe to say that anyone reading this blog knows that I am not, and will never be (barring some sort of life-or-death illness) the kind of person who gives up her carbs. I love my sandwiches, and pasta, and dear god, do I love my potatoes. (You’re probably sick of reading about it.) I’m not giving them up for anything. You’d have to pry them from my cold, dead hands. That being said, I’m also not averse to trying low-carb/carb-free substitutes to carbtastic, starchy goodness, because I like having my cholesterol in check, and because I’m open to trying just about any food that isn’t an insect. (Or durian.) A few weeks ago, I tried making a cauliflower pizza crust – and no, I’m not going to tell you that it tasted JUST LIKE PIZZA CRUST OMG 4 REAL because I am not a big fat liar. It tasted…quiche-y? Maybe? It was good, but it was in no way similar to actual pizza crust.
On Friday, I tried my hand this recipe, because my mom, my sister, and apparently everyone on Pinterest, ever, has gone spaghetti squash crazy.
“It tastes like and has the texture of spaghetti!!!”, the Internet says. (To her credit, this blogger never claimed spaghetti squash tastes like spaghetti. So thank you, A Family Feast.) “I call shenanigans, Internet,” I replied. (Yes, I talk to inanimate objects. You do, too, so stop raising those eyebrows.)
So I bought the spaghetti squash. I roasted the spaghetti squash. I pulled the spaghetti squash into strands. I made the gremolata. I made the sauce. I even sprinkled a little cheese over it. I took a big bite. And…
As I suspected, the Internet is a big liarpants. Spaghetti squash does not taste like spaghetti. It tastes like squash.
Because it is a squash.
I mean, duh, right? It is tasty – there’s a little bit of sweetness to it – but it does not. taste. like. spaghetti. Again, I am not a liarpants. I will tell it like it is. If you go into this dish expecting spaghetti-esque goodness, you will be disappointed. But if you go into this expecting something light, fresh, delicious and vegetarian-friendly, you will likely be satisfied.
I also made this because it’s tomato season once again here in Jersey, which is pretty much the best thing ever until you’re about three weeks in and like OH DEAR GOD I CANNOT POSSIBLY TOMATO ANYMORE.
So, if you’re reaching the point where you’re on the verge of being tomato-ed out, give this a whirl. And if you can’t wrap your head around eating a bowl of squash for dinner, just make the sauce and gremolata and dump it on some spaghetti. Seriously. It’s so, so, so good.
Spaghetti squash gremolata (tweaked ever-so-slightly from A Family Feast)
1 medium/large spaghetti squash
3 1/2 cups (about 2-3 large) red tomatoes, diced
2 tsp lemon zest
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp minced garlic
3 tbsp chopped basil
3/4 cup chopped yellow tomatoes
2 tbsp olive oil
pinch black pepper
grated parmesan (optional – omit this if you want to keep the dish vegan-friendly)
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees, then line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Slice your spaghetti squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Place the halves cut side down on the parchment lined pan, then bake for about 45 minutes. At the 45 minute point, check the texture. The squash should peel away from the skin in strands. You may need an extra 15 minutes; I needed another 7.
As your squash is roasting, prepare your sauce. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium high heat, then add half of your garlic and stir. Add your red tomatoes, salt and pepper immediately and stir. Reduce the heat and let the tomatoes and garlic simmer for about 10-15 minutes, or until slightly thickened. Stir in half of the basil, half of the lemon zest and all of the lemon juice.
In a small bowl, mix the other half of the garlic, basil and lemon zest. Set aside.
Once the squash is ready and you have removed the flesh, place the cooked squash on a serving platter. Discard the skin. Top with the tomato sauce mixture, then the basil mixture, then finish it off with your chopped yellow tomato and, if you’re using it, grated parmesan.