A low-carb alternative to pasta, spaghetti squash does a great job satisfying my cravings for noodles.
The spaghetti squash takes a tad longer to make than pasta from a box. But it’s a wonderful variation on the traditional pasta salad.
That’s a strong endorsement from him considering how much he loves pasta, as do I.
And, it’s almost impossible to overcook which is a constant challenge I face when trying to get pasta al dente.
Enjoy with a glass of white wine or sparkling water.
Why it works
“Spaghetti pasta actually tastes like pasta,” Alex says, “with a tiny bit of a different texture.”
Using salt to draw out the water from the spaghetti squash stops it from being mushy. I learned the technique from Beth at Eat Within Your Means.
- 6 sprigs Basil
- 4 cloves Garlic
- 1/2 cups Spinach (Packed)
- 1/2 cups Olive Oil
- 1 cup Walnuts
- 1 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano (Grated)
- 1 Spaghetti Squash
- 8 oz. Mozzarella (Fresh pearl mozzarella.)
- 2 cups Cherry Tomatoes (Washed & destemmed)
- Collect the ingredients.
- Preheat the oven to 400ºF (200ªC).
- Cut the ends off the spaghetti squash.
- Cut the spaghetti squash into wide rings. It is very important to slice the squash horizontally and not vertically to allow the longest spaghetti squash strands.
- Deseed the squash.
- Place the spaghetti squash rings into baking trays.
- Sprinkle generously with a lot of salt on each ring. Rub the salt in with your fingers.
- Leave for 15 minutes to allow the water to come to the surface. Pat with paper towels to remove water.
- Place the baking trays with the squash into the preheated oven. Bake for 30 minutes.
- While waiting for the squash to bake, prepare the pesto. Roughly chop the basil. Discard the stems.
- Put the spinach and basil into a food processor.
- Add the Parmesan-Reggiano cheese, garlic, and walnuts.
- Pulse the mixture in the food processor while pouring the olive oil slowly into the mixture as it blends the pesto.
- Periodically stop the food processor and use a spatula to scrape the sides of the container to ensure even mixing.
- If the mixture seems crumbly, it is too dry. Add extra olive oil directly into the mixture until the pesto is a thick consistency that still flows.
- Add pepper to taste and continue to pulse.
- Add salt to taste and continue to pulse.
Assembling Spaghetti Squash dish
- When the spaghetti squash is finished cooking remove from the oven and allow to cool. Run a knife around the edge of the squash.
- Separate the strands of spaghetti squash from each other.
- Gently push and pull the squash strands apart to unravel the strands.
- Using a large mixing bowl, add the spaghetti squash and 3 heaping tablespoons of pesto.
- Toss together. Add more pesto to taste.
- Serve by topping the spaghetti squash with mozzarella and cherry tomatoes.
- Enjoy the Pesto Spaghetti Squash with Mozzarella & Cherry Tomatoes
- This recipe makes more pesto than required for the spaghetti squash. Enjoy the remaining pesto on toast or steamed vegetables.
- The classic pesto recipe uses pine nuts. Pine nuts are a delicious base for pesto but they’re expensive and not always easy to find at the grocery store.
- Substituting with walnuts tastes just as good and helps your wallet.
- I learned how to prepare spaghetti squash from Beth at Eat Within Your Means. Beth has a wonderful tutorial on spaghetti squash with detailed instructions on how to cook it to best imitate pasta spaghetti.
- I adjusted my ingredient quantities based on The Rustic Foodie Christine’s recipe Spinach and Walnut Pesto.