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Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Spaghetti Squash with Tomato Sauce

So, you want your kids to eat more vegetables? Here's a little trick that I do not recommend. Serve Spaghetti Squash and try to pass it off as real Spaghetti. This will not make you popular and your kids won't be fooled.

Personally, I love this dish. It is a really nice alternative to pasta, and when you eat your spaghetti this way you don't have to feel bad about that nice slice of bread you are having on the side, because you aren't doubling up on your carbs.

It takes a little longer to make than pasta because the squash needs 45 minutes in the oven. I have read that you can microwave the squash, although I've never tried it that way.

Normally when I make spaghetti sauce, I will throw all the raw veggies (carrot, onion, mushroom, green pepper etc) in the food processor for a few seconds before I cook them. That way the kids don't even notice all the healthy stuff in the sauce. In order to wean them off of that habit, because Mario and I like to actually taste our vegetables, I am gradually starting to dice the vegetables into bigger and bigger pieces.

Consequently, Marco methodically picked out every single little piece of mushroom in the sauce, and not that much actual squash was consumed by anyone under the age of 10.

Oh, and just to join in the whiny, petulant fun, Mario complained that I didn't put any meat in the sauce.

Spaghetti Squash with Tomato Sauce

1/2 large spaghetti squash
4 large tomatoes
1 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 onion, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
3/4 cup diced mushrooms
1/2 green pepper, diced
1 can tomato paste
1 sprig fresh rosemary, chopped
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tso dried basil
salt and pepper
Parmsan cheese

1. Saute the onion and garlic in olive oil. When the onion is translucent, add celery, mushrooms and green pepper. Saute for a 5 minutes.

2. Seed and chop the four tomatoes and add to the vegetables. Add the rosemary, oregano and basil and the tomato paste. Simmer for one hour. Season to taste.

3. Cut the spagetti squash in half, brush the cut side with olive oil and lay cut side down on a baking sheet. Bake at 375F for 45 minutes.

4. Remove the squash from the oven. Using a fork, scrape across the inside of the spaghetti squash to loosed the strands, then spoon them onto plates.

5. Top with tomato sauce and Parmesan cheese.