Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Spaghetti Squash with Basil & Pine Nuts

As the holidays approach, with the seemingly inevitable threat to my waistline (even without the turkey!), my mind is focused on light and tasty vegetable dishes! This spaghetti squash recipe was inspired by a recipe from the November issue of Food & Wine , Spaghetti Squash Salad with Pine Nuts & Tarragon.

Spaghetti squash is a pretty cool vegetable. You bake it in the oven, then remove the flesh with a fork, and the spaghetti strands hold up well as a pasta substitute. I loved the fact that the squash was baked facedown with a mixture of white wine and water! It gave the squash a very slight sweetness and depth. I chose to use basil instead of the more astringent tarragon and skipped the thyme and the cheese. I also used a citrus champagne vinegar and ate mine warm!

Spaghetti Squash with Basil & Pine Nuts:
1 spaghetti squash
extra-virgin olive oil
sea salt
ground black pepper
1/4 cup white wine
3/4 cup water
2 TBS chopped fresh basil
1 tsp citrus champagne vinegar (or white wine vinegar)
1/4 tsp lemon zest
squirt of lemon juice to taste (a little more if you are using white wine vinegar)
red chili flakes
1/4 cup pine nuts, pan toasted

Preheat the oven to 350F. Cut the squash in half lengthwise and remove the seeds and loose fleshy strings. Drizzle the insides with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place cut side down on a baking dish with a rim. Mix together the wine wine and water and pour it over the squash. Bake for 50 minutes.

Remove the squash and allow to cool enough that you can work with it (or you can wrap it up and put it in the fridge for a day if you are planning ahead). Use a fork over a large bowl to scrape out the squash in strands. Add the lemon zest and basil, and toss. Combine the vinegar and lemon juice and toss with the spaghetti squash. Add red chili flakes and pan-toasted pine nuts. Adjust seasoning and serve!


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