Sunday, May 1, 2011

“SPAGHETTI”

What are you thinking if you see the entire descriptive word in quotes? It’s not spaghetti? Well, it’s not really spaghetti. In lieu of carbolicious noodles, I use the “noodles” from spaghetti squash. This is not an exact replica of spaghetti where your guests will say “No noodles? Seriously?!” However, you will get (hopefully), “Wow, I like squash this way!” My kids absolutely LOVE this dish, and it is unbelievably easy to make. It can be even easier if you want to simply substitute my homemade sauce recipe for sauce in a jar (go ahead, I won’t tell). This is a great dish to make ahead of time or have in the freezer. Just proceed with everything except for the final baking. You can do that when you are ready to serve it (just make sure that it is fully thawed, and you will have to heat it up for a bit longer). Spaghetti squash supplies modest amounts of carotenoids – these are plant substances that the body turns into Vitamin A and that may help protect against some diseases.

My non-vegetarian aunt tried this dish and liked it.

Ingredients:
1 spaghetti squash, halved and seeded
30 oz. tomato sauce
1 Tbs. dried oregano
½ Tbs. dried basil
1 tsp. dried marjoram
½ tsp. dried fennel seeds, crushed (if you buy whole fennel seeds, as I do, you can grind them in a clean coffee bean grinder. I leave the dust in the grinder because it adds a nice flavor to your coffee the next time you use it)
1 tsp. crushed garlic
1 tsp. salt
2 Tbs. butter
½ bag of Quorn crumbles
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Directions:
Place squash halves cut-side down on greased cookie sheet. Bake in 350 degree oven for 40 minutes, or until soft to the touch. Remove and let cool. Once cool, use a fork to scrape the squash from the skin (it should look like noodles). If you haven’t done this before, take your fork, starting from the outside edges, scoop in toward the center. Go all the way around each squash half, and then scoop the entire amount out. In a saucepan, combine the tomato sauce, basil, oregano, marjoram, fennel, garlic, salt and butter. Cook over medium heat for about 20 minutes. Mix the “noodles” with spaghetti sauce and crumbles. Scoop mixture into 8”x8” square glass pan. Top with cheese and bake for 30 minutes. My kids LOVE this recipe as much as they love traditional spaghetti, and it is a cinch to make.


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