It’s April 13, 2014, and apparently it is going to snow the day after tomorrow.
This, after a brutal and endless snowstorm-filled season that kicked my lifelong “I love winter” proclamation’s butt.
But to be honest, I think I still love winter. Maybe now more than recent years because I no longer have to drive to work. Truth be told, my highway driving commute to work for the past few years has soured the season I once thought was so magical. But now I have a new job, one on the subway line no less, which means buh-bye icy roads (and jerks who don’t adjust their driving habits to the elements).
There were many times throughout the last few months where I felt chilled to the bone. Soup was always a good soul-warming meal, but what I ended up eating a lot of was spaghetti squash. Before this year, I had never eaten it. I once had a health conscious classmate tell me it was the perfect replacement for pasta.
“No one really eats pasta for the pasta anyway,” she said. “It’s all about the sauce.”
While she may have had a point about the sauce being the crux of the pasta dish, spaghetti squash is no replacement for pasta. Sure, it looks like spaghetti when carved out with a fork, but the texture and taste are telltale properties of squash, not pasta, thankyouverymuch. When I really want a bowl (or two) of pasta, no squash will satisfy that craving pang. No matter how good the sauce it sits in is.
OK, it’s starting to look like I’m ragging on spaghetti squash. I’m not. I actually really enjoy it. I made the recipe below many, many times this past winter and it was a delicious, hearty meal that always warmed me up after a treacherous drive on the snowy highway.
Are you still getting snow or bitter cold weather where you live? Whether you are or aren’t, here’s a meal that is sure to warm – and fill – you up.
What you’ll need
- One large spaghetti squash
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- Half a red onion, chopped finely
- 1-2 tbsp of chopped garlic (depends on how much you like)
- Diced mushrooms, three cups
- 3 bell peppers
- 2 cans of crushed tomato
- Half a cup of chopped fresh basil
- Half a cup of grated Parmesan cheese
- A couple dashes of red wine (optional)
What you have to do
- Poke holes in spaghetti squash and place in preheated 375 degree oven for one hour
- In a large, deep pot on your stovetop, cook chopped onions and garlic in olive oil at medium heat till onion looks translucent
- Add chopped mushrooms and peppers, and let cook for a few minutes
- Pour cans of crushed tomato into the pot and stir
- Stir in wine, and add chopped basil and parmesan cheese
- Add salt and pepper
- Let everything simmer for at least a couple hours. The longer, the better
- When spaghetti squash is done cooking in the oven, take out and let cool
- Cut spaghetti squash in half and, using a fork, shred squash into long spaghetti-like strands
- Stir shredded squash into sauce
Dish out and enjoy!