Spaghetti Squash Saute with Ricotta and Tomato Sauce

I had a craving on Wednesday that took me just about all day to put my finger on. It was creamy and strong with garlic. After pondering over it that afternoon, I realized that what I was craving was a calzone from Lilly’s Pizza. I used to get their basic cheese calzone, full of ricotta and pungent with garlic, with a side of their fresh marinara for dipping. I would always intend to eat half of it and beast through the whole thing, which is enough to feed two people, easily.

On Wednesday I had a pound of ricotta in the fridge, and I had roasted a spaghetti squash in the oven. I’d picked up a .99 package of fresh marjoram at the grocery store the day before. I could make some magic happen.

“In the ‘zone” Spaghetti Squash Saute

Ingredients:

1 2-3 lb spaghetti squash

olive oil

1 onion, thinly sliced

garlic cloves, minced (I used two from the ridiculous bulb I posted about earlier – I wanted intense garlic flavor)

fresh herbs – I used marjoram and basil

1 14.5 oz can crushed tomatoes

part-skim ricotta (~1/4 cup per serving of squash)

Procedure:

1. Roast spaghetti squash. This can be done a day ahead. Cut the squash in half (carefully!), give it a teeny rub of olive oil on the cut side, and place cut side down in a baking pan. Cook at 350 for 30-40 minutes, until the flesh can easily be pierced with a knife. Let cool. If cooking in advance, I put the cut sides of the squash back together and wrap the whole thing in foil for the fridge after the squash cools.

2. Put about a teaspoon of olive oil into a nonstick frying pan at medium heat. Add the onion slices. While they start to cook, use a fork to scrape the strands of squash out of the shell. Add the strands to the pan. Saute the squash and onion until the onion begins to soften. Add the garlic and sauté until just fragrant.

sauteeingspaghettisquash

It will look and feel like you are making hashbrowns, scattered and smothered.

3.  Add the herbs and crushed tomatoes. Simmer the mixture for a few minutes, and salt and pepper it to taste.

4. You can either add the ricotta right to the pan or mix it in the individual bowls. I recommend ¼ cup of ricotta for each serving.

I did not post a picture of the final product because it just ain’t pretty. Once the ricotta gets comfy with the tomato sauce, it’s best to eat and not capture the moment. On your fork, this food is delicious. In pictures, it’s uninspiring.The leftovers were killer for lunch the next day — super filling, but no pasta coma.

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