Spaghetti squash with marinara and pesto

Found these on sale, and wanted to see what the fuss was about.

The directions on the actual squash say you can microwave them after piercing a few holes. I had the oven on already, and went that way instead.

I carefully cut it in half, if the knife is hard to move, rock the squash back and forth instead of trying to move the knife a lot. Then remove the seeds.

I seasoned with olive oil, salt, and some ground habanero because I like some heat.

Then bake at 375 for about an hour.

Meanwhile, I started a sauce.

Since I was using a cast iron Dutch oven, I only put the heat to medium (they hold heat better). I take a good quality EVOO and fresh garlic slightly smashed open and cook for a bit.

Then I add a can of whole tomatoes, I use the ones from Italy, there really is a difference in the flavor. Add some salt and pepper. Traditionally, you should remove the garlic before you add the tomatoes, as they are just supposed to add a hint of flavor.

While all of this is happening, I will grate some parmigiano, this doesn’t melt very well, so I like to shave it for presentation sake.

I gave these a poke after about 40 minutes, and put them back in. They took almost a full hour.

At this point, I would tear up some fresh basil and put it on top when it is still super hot, but alas, I killed the basil plant!

You can make a pesto for this as well with 1 cup fresh basil leaves, 1 clove garlic, 2 tablespoons pine nuts, 1/4 cup EVOO, 1/4 cup grated Parm (not the shaker stuff please) salt about 1/2 tsp–blend. Or buy a jar!

With a fork, I loosened the squash from the sides and put into a bowl. You can simply put the sauce on top and melt some cheese and call it a day.

For the sake of presentation, I mixed the sauces together with the squash. Taste and season again. The put back into the squash and serve!

I went with half and half, looks great and you get some variety. The pepper was key here, I love the flavor with the heat. If you have vegan’s coming, put the cheese on the table instead of on top!



1 spaghetti squash (per 2 people)

1 large can of whole tomatoes from Italy (per 2-4 people)

3 garlic cloves

4-6 basil leaves


1 cup pesto sauce

1/4 cup grated parmigiana 

salt, ground hot chili or habanero pepper (optional)

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