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Spaghetti Squash Puttanesca

Spaghetti squash is a versatile and nutritious option and if you’re converting to plant based living, spaghetti squash is a great staple to have around.  The obvious choice is to scrape out the noodly meat and use as a substitute for spaghetti. Around my house, spaghetti puttanesca is a treasured favorite, so I took my classic puttanesca recipe and served it over spaghetti squash.  My fiance loves anchovies, capers, and olives.  I love salty and savory.  My teenagers love anything with pasta or anything that resembles pasta.  It’s a flavor win-win!

This recipe is au natural – grown from the ground ingredients and omega-3 rich anchovies add depth of flavor.  I suggest using local organic tomatoes, high quality anchovy, grass-fed sources of ricotta (or use your favorite nut cheese), and lots of fresh herbs.

Spaghetti Squash Puttanesca 

Serves 4

Ingredients:

1 large spaghetti squash (3 1/2–4 pounds)

Kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper

4 anchovy fillets, finely chopped

1-2 garlic clove, finely chopped

2 heaping cups cherry tomatoes

1 pint button mushrooms, chopped

1/4 cup pitted, cured black olives, finely chopped

1 ½ T. drained capers

½ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes

4 T. olive oil

1/4 cup pine nuts

handful chopped fresh basil

handful chopped fresh parsley

½ cup grass-fed ricotta or buffalo mozzarella (optional)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375°F. Halve squash lengthwise and scoop out seeds. Season inside of squash with salt and pepper and rub with olive oil. Lay cut side down on sheet and bake on center oven rack for 35-40 minutes.

While squash cooks, in a medium bowl, combine chopped anchovy, garlic, tomatoes, mushrooms, olives, capers, red pepper flakes, season with pinch of salt and stir well.

Heat 2 T. olive oil in a large skillet. When heated, add the above mixture. Cook over medium high heat, stirring often, for approx. 10-12 minutes, tomatoes will blister and sauce will reduce. After 10-12 minutes, you can reduce heat to low and simmer.

Meanwhile, toast pine nuts in a dry small skillet over medium-low heat, tossing often, until golden brown, about 3-4 minutes (these will cook well). Immediately transfer to a plate; set aside.

Remove sheet from oven. Scrape squash crosswise to pull squash “spaghetti” strands from shells into a medium bowl; discard shells. Add remaining 1 T. olive oil to the squash and toss. Season with salt and pepper and transfer to a serving bowl.

Toss the puttanesca sauce with basil, parsley, and reserved pine nuts. Pour sauce over the squash and dollop with ricotta or buffalo mozzarella. Garnish with remaining basil, parsley, and pine nuts.

Photo Credit: Epicurious

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