During the winter (and ok, let’s be honest, year ‘round), there’s nothing I love more than a big bowl of some carby comfort food. Unfortunately, I know that eating like this too often is unhealthy, so to the alternatives I go. Luckily, though, a dish similar to pasta has become popular recently: spaghetti squash. I first heard of this food when my friend brought some to lunch and I was instantly intrigued. I had a bite and it tasted eerily similar to pasta. Could something so yummy really be healthy? Turns out, spaghetti squash is a fairly popular choice. So I set out to create my own spin on this new favorite. Here’s what I came up with:
- 1 spaghetti squash
- 1 cup half & half
- herbed goat cheese
- 1 handful spinach
- 1 handful arugula
- salt and pepper to taste
- red pepper flakes
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon butter
- parmesan (optional & to taste)
To make this dish, start with the spaghetti squash. Cut it in half, long ways, and scoop out all seeds and gooey insides. You can either throw this away, or use the seeds to bake for a snack (like pumpkin seeds!). Place the two halves flat side down in the microwave and cook for 10 minutes. You can also use the oven for this, but it will take about 45 minutes at 350 degrees.
While the spaghetti squash is cooking, warm olive oil and butter in a pan. Add minced garlic and simmer at low heat. When the spaghetti squash is ready, take each half and scoop out the “spaghetti” with a fork. Watch out, that squash is hot! Place the “noodles” in the pan with the olive oil and garlic and let it cook on medium-high for about ten minutes. This will soften the “noodles.” The longer you cook, the softer they will get. Remember, these aren’t actual noodles, so there will still be a slight veggie texture.
When you are satisfied with your squash, pour in the half & half, reduce to medium heat and stir. Add a pinch of salt. Cut the herbed goat cheese into square inch cubes and add to the pan, continuing to stir. Toss in the spinach and arugula and stir. Finally, add in the pepper, red pepper flakes and parmesan. Plate and garnish with red pepper flakes and greens.
Have you ever had spaghetti squash? How did you like it?
Photos by Johnny Cheng Photography.