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by on December 12th, 2012

Almost Spaghetti Primavera

Meatless Monday. 

Diners, Dives and Drive-Ins on the Food Network is one of my favorite food shows and I always come away with at least one item I would like to try and make. One day this diner was making a spaghetti squash dish so I grabbed a pen, make that my iPhone, and started jotting down (I didn’t even jot, I just spoke into the phone) ingredients. So for this recipe there is no recipe, just anything you want to put in with the spaghetti squash. So here goes, and if I missed something it doesn’t really make a difference, just start with what you have in your refrigerator. There was actually a recipe at Food Network but I didn’t even both looking it up because I knew I wouldn’t need it.

Spaghetti squash is a seed bearing variety of winter squash that can be steamed, baked or microwaved then scrape out the seeds (before or after cooking) and with the tines of a fork start RAKING and like magic you have spaghetti. I asked my husband to cut it in half  for me. Before I knew it he had cut it I. Half the wrong way — not lengthwise. Did I ever go off the deep end.

I have been preparing spaghetti squash for years. Who would think you could take a big yellow ball of a vegetable and turn it into something that resembles spaghetti. Well you can and it’s delicious. We have eaten it with butter/olive oil and Parmesan cheese or even with a little ready made spaghetti sauce. So when I saw this vegetable mixed with a lot of other vegetables I knew the flavor was going to be incredible.

One day while shopping I was so excited to find small spaghetti squash about the size of a softball. Normally they are huge and cost a small fortune by the time you pay a by the pound price for them. These were just the perfect size for individual servings. After sauteing all the ingredients and tossing them with the spaghetti squash the mixture gets put back into the shell and topped with fresh mozzarella and then a quick run under the broiler.

Chicken or shrimp could also be added to this mixture for an entree.

I used a purchased pasta sauce. I should not have added additional herbs. Mine was a little spicy. So sample, before adding additional herbs.

Everything chopped and ready for a quick saute.

Saute the celery, onion and carrot first since they take longer to cook.

After getting all your vegetables sautéed add in the sauce. I used almost half a jar.

After cooking your spaghetti squash, use a fork and “make spaghetti”.

Stir in the spaghetti squash and some of the cheese and stir until mixed.

Top with cheese and put in oven.

Next time I may try grated mozzarella cheese instead of the fresh mozzarella.

Almost Spaghetti Primavera

2-4 Tbsp. olive ol
2 shallots, sliced thin
3 cloves garlic, finely minced
1/2 cup very thinly sliced carrots
1 small yellow squash, cut in small cubes
1 small zucchini squash, cut in small cubes
3/4 c. broccoli florets
3/4 c. thinly sliced celery
5-6 spears asparagus, cut in 1/4″ pieces
1/2 c. red bell pepper, cut in slivers
1 large or 2 small spaghetti squashes
1/2 tsp. fresh oregano, basil AND thyme
Purchased marinara sauce
fresh mozzarella

Cut the spaghetti squash in half and scrape out seeds. Put 1 tablespoon water into each half of the squash. Cover with waxed paper and microwave until tender. This may take 10 minutes. You want it to be tender enough that when you rake it with the fork it with “spaghetti” out. When it is tender, scrape all the squash (using the fork) into a bowl. Set aside.

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet. Add the shallots, carrots and celery and start sautéing. After about 5-6 minutes add the garlic, red bell pepper, asparagus, broccoli, yellow squash and zucchini. Keep stirring for about 10 minutes more. Add in the herbs and salt and pepper to taste.

When all the vegetables look done, add in the cooked spaghetti squash and about 3/4-1 cup of the marinara sauce. Take the mixture and fill the spaghetti squash skins. Top with some fresh mozzarella cheese and run under the broiler just until the cheese melts.

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