What's Happenin'

A Sidelines blog

Good Food Hunting: Spaghetti Squash with Marinara Sauce

November 07, 2013 By: janwest Category: What's Happenin'

By Kat Wojtylak

Spaghetti squash with a fresh tomato sauce is an ideal healthy meal or side dish that tastes super delicious too!

Spaghetti squash with a fresh tomato sauce is an ideal healthy meal or side dish that tastes super delicious too!

A recipe that packs a flavorful punch and is low in calories and carbs is pretty hard to come by. But finding a recipe that also meets a meat and potatoes man’s seal of approval is almost impossible. Never fear however, because I’m sharing with you my man’s most requested dish that is good for you AND gluten free, vegan and sugar free.

Pasta is one of the most versatile foods. It can be adapted in so many ways which is exactly why spaghetti squash fits the bill for being an ideal meal option for those looking to make a healthy change. It’s great because once you get the basis of spaghetti squash down, it can be one of the best substitutes in your pantry, and it stores for awhile without needing refrigeration.

Spaghetti Squash, showing the whole, roasted and shredded squash.

Spaghetti Squash, showing the whole, roasted and shredded squash.

The recipe really couldn’t be easier in that it uses fresh ingredients, or easy to locate items even during the winter for year round enjoyment. The squash is baked and cooled, and then a fresh sauce is made. I find that the sauce can be doctored up in a number of ways. I typically add a small amount of sugar to help balance out the tomatoes acidity and give them a more rounded flavor. This of course is not necessary, and you will need to taste test along the way as you make your sauce to be sure it fits what your own taste buds enjoy.

A bite of the finished Spaghetti Squash, ready to eat.

A bite of the finished Spaghetti Squash, ready to eat.

For those with dietary restrictions however, please heed the following advice to alter this basic recipe and still make it taste super:

  • Low glycemic– omit the sugar called for in the recipe
  • Vegan– substitute the sugar and use something like agave syrup, omit the parmesan or use Parma
  • Paleo– substitute the olive oil for coconut oil
  • Lactose free– omit the parmesan
  • No Iodine– substitute the type of salt used and omit the parmesan
  • Gluten lovers– try the spaghetti squash, or if you must, omit it and use pasta
  • Gluten free– This recipe is perfect for you!
  • Vegetarian– This recipe is perfect too!

To full plates and eating your tarte out,

Spaghetti Squash with a sprinkling of basil and parmesan (optional).

Spaghetti Squash with a sprinkling of basil and parmesan (optional).

Spaghetti Squash with Marinara Sauce

1 spaghetti squash (about 3 lbs)
3 tablespoons of olive oil, divided
1 medium onion, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 sprig rosemary, fresh
1/4 teaspoon of red pepper flakes
1 can of whole tomatoes (18 ounces), preferably San Marzano or 1 lb of tomatoes, skins removed
2 tablespoons of sugar
1 tablespoon of vinegar
1/4 cup fresh Basil, sliced
1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese, shredded
Salt and Pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Slice your spaghetti squash from end to end horizontally using a sharp knife. Scoop out the pulp and seeds, rinse under cold water. Pat dry.  Place your two halves of spaghetti squash onto a baking sheet. Drizzle about 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil onto each half and coat the top using a pastry brush or clean paper towel. Generously sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place into the oven and bake for 30-45 minutes until fork punctures easily through the flesh. Remove from oven and allow to cool.

Once the spaghetti squash is cool, use a fork and pull down the length of the squash to remove strands. Remove until just the skins are left. Repeat with other half, placing the strands into a bowl for serving.

In a saucepan over medium heat, place the remaining olive oil. Sauté your onions and garlic for about 3-5 minutes or translucent. Over the saucepan, run your fingers down the rosemary sprig removing the leaves into your pan. Sauté one minute longer. Next, add your red pepper flakes and tomatoes along with their juices. Using a wooden spoon, break up your tomatoes into large hunks and bring to a simmer (if using fresh tomatoes simmer for about ten additional minutes). Add in your sugar and vinegar. Stir and taste the sauce, adding more sugar and vinegar as needed to balance out the flavors. Season the sauce with salt and pepper, heat till boiling.

Ladle your finished sauce on top of the spaghetti squash strands. Sprinkle with your parmesan and basil. Serve immediately.

About the writer: Author Kat Wojtylak is a horse enthusiast turned food blogger. She maintains a day job in the horse world handling marketing and brand support to various companies, while enjoying her evenings and weekends writing recipes and blogging all about her culinary experiences. Visit her blog at EatYourTarteOut.com or email her at tartechic@eatyourtarteout.com.