This week’s recipe kinda got “squashed” to the end of the day (hehehe…)

Tomato-marinara spaghetti squashHave you ever tried a spaghetti squash? Now if you are like me and have only just recently discovered a love of all things to do with gourd vegetables (my family never really eats them, so it wasn’t normal to have that as a part of the meals in my house growing up), then you know how exciting it can be to find a new way to prepare such a diverse veggie. You can do literally just about anything with squash… but this way to prepare it sort of takes the proverbial cake.

(Of course, pairing a lot of veggies with this sauce will do that to them… it tends to make them even more amazing!)

So we call this our Spicy Roasted Tomato Marinara with Spaghetti Squash! It’s yummy, with just the right amount of heat and a whole lot of healthy tossed in. Serve with a bottle of your favourite wine and some additional cheese to munch on.

 

Spicy Roasted Tomato Marinara with Spaghetti Squash:

For the Parmigiano and Herb-Fortified Stock:

  • 1 large rind shaved from a chunk of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese or a few small pieces of rind saved up
  • Herb bundle of several sprigs of fresh thyme, parsley and rosemary, tied
  • 1 onion, quartered
  • 2 ribs celery, sliced on an angle
  • 2 carrots, sliced on an angle
  • Peeled rind of 1 lemon
  • 2 fresh bay leaves
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 12 cups (3 quarts) water

For the roasted tomatoes:

  • 24 ripe organic vine tomatoes or large plum tomatoes
  • Several cloves garlic, crushed
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, for generous drizzling

For the marinara sauce:

  • 3 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, plus some for drizzling
  • 5 to 6 flat anchovy fillets
  • 1 sweet onion, thinly sliced or chopped
  • 1 Fresno or Holland chili, sliced or chopped
  • 3 to 3 cloves garlic, sliced or chopped
  • 1 couple small sprigs marjoram or oregano, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp. tomato paste
  • ½ cup dry red or white wine
  • A handful fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • A few fresh basil leaves, torn
  • 2 medium spaghetti squash
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, shredded, for serving
  1. For the stock: place the cheese rind, herb bundle, onion, celery, carrots, lemon rind, bay leaves, chicken stock and water into a pot and bring to a bubble, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Simmer for at least 1 hour and then remove the rind, herb bundle and vegetables with a slotted spoon or strainer
  2. For the tomatoes: heat the oven to 500 F
  3. Arrange the tomatoes on a baking sheet in a single layer. Scatter the garlic among the tomatoes, dress with olive oil to coat and season with salt and pepper. Roast the tomatoes until they burst and skins split and begin to char, about 30 minutes. Cool the tomatoes until cool enough to handle and peel. Place the tomatoes in a bowl
  4. For the marinara: heat the extra-virgin olive oil in a medium pot over medium heat. Add the anchovies and stir until they melt into the oil. Add the sliced onions, chili, garlic, marjoram and cover and cook to soften the onions, 10 to 15 minutes or until very sweet and soft
  5. Add the tomato paste and stir 1 minute, then add the wine and stir a minute more. Stir in the prepared stock, roasted tomatoes, parsley and basil and simmer over medium heat for 10 to 15 minutes more to combine the flavours. Cool and store the sauce for a make-ahead meal
  6. On the day you serve this meal, heat the oven to 450 F and cover a baking sheet with foil. Split the squash in half and scoop out the seeds, then season with salt and pepper and place cut-side down on the baking sheet. Roast the squash for 45 to 60 minutes, until very tender. Once the squash has been roasting for 30 minutes, reheat the sauce to medium heat and a slight bubble. Reduce heat to low and keep this warm
  7. Turn the roasted squash over and shred each half with a fork, turning the flesh into what looks like a yellow boat filled with spaghetti. Drizzle the hot squash with a little olive oil and adjust the seasoning. Top with lots of marinara and garnish with shredded cheese
  8. Serve each “boat” on a platter and eat the squash and sauce right from the skin of the squash

 

(We originally found this most excellent recipe on The Food Network’s page devoted to Rachel Ray… she is a genius of the culinary sort, and sure does know how to make vegetables exciting! Check out more about her here)

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