Saturday, April 6, 2013

Spaghetti Squash Alfredo with Parsley, Basil, and Cherry Tomatoes


I just find spaghetti squash to be so much fun. It's pretty much one of those confetti party poppers but in the form of a vegetable. You crack one of these guys open and out comes a bowl full of "pasta". And like real pasta, it's versatile and can go in a million directions.  Me and Aaron made this recipe super fast and the base of the entire meal was one fairly small spaghetti squash. But even though spaghetti squash was the main ingredient, I'd say the true focus of the meal was the amazing alfredo sauce. This definitely is a lighter take on a very indulgent classic. The traditional pasta alfredo that you'd get at a restaurant seems to always leave you needing a nap and/or a blood transfusion. For real...this recipe comes close to matching it's decadent ancestor, minus the guilt, the fat, and the food coma. We absolutely loved it...and I wouldn't share this recipe if this was not the case. 

Ok, here's what you'll need:  

1 medium spaghetti squash
2 tablespoons olive oil 
1 tablespoon minced garlic
dash of salt
a few dashes of pepper
a dash or two of nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons low fat cream cheese
1 1/2 cups freshly grated Parmesan (and some to sprinkle on top)
1½ cups of milk of your choice (we used plain almond milk)
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
Fresh basil leaves
Grape or cherry tomatoes, sliced in 1/2



This simple, laid back looking piece of produce has got a party raging inside of it.



Let's get started!
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Using a large sharp knife, cut the spaghetti squash in half  and scoop out the seeds. Place cut side up on a lightly oiled baking sheet. (though we have previously cooked our's face down as well.) Mist or brush your squash lightly with one tablespoon of olive oil. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and some garlic. Bake until tender, about 50-55 mins. 




Once cooked, use a fork to gently scrape the “spaghetti” strands ...Use fork to fluff and separate 



Now, for your sauce, In a medium sized pan, heat your remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Now, add the garlic and crushed red pepper flakes, cook till fragrant, about one minute. Now, add your cream cheese, stir as it melts, then, whisk in your milk, Cook for about a minute while stirring. Now, add your nutmeg, and parsley and give it a few good stirs. Lower heat to a simmer, and stir in your parmesan cheese. Continue to stir till melted and smooth. Remove from heat and toss with your "spaghetti".



Plate your spaghetti, top with halved tomatoes, fresh basil, parsley, some more grated cheese, and a dash of pepper!

I'm fairly certain that you will be surprised by this one. It's rich and creamy and bright and fresh at the same time. The sweet buttery taste of the squash pairs perfectly with the alfredo sauce. And if I had to name one of the bigger differences between spaghetti squash and actual spaghetti...I'd say texture. It's got a bit of a crisp to it...though not really crisp...maybe I'd say firm...and in a good way. But the creamy sauce lends itself well to this texture.
Again, one small squash fed the two of us and we were pretty darn full afterward. Let me know if you give this recipe a try...I'd love to hear your thoughts!
xo, Jenny ...and Aaron

20 comments:

  1. I'm scared.... really, really scared, Jenny, as that is a vegetable you used!! LOL! So, putting a toe in the water, so to speak, does the spaghetti squash have a strong flavor? Please say "no" so I might be brave and try this. After all, it looks so yummy!! Seriously! And you had me at alfredo sauce so that squash better be as fabulous as it looks! I know.. I need to grow up, right?! xoxo

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  2. Oh wow - that sounds so good! And your intro. to the recipe was fun to read, too. (:

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  3. This looks amazing! I've never had spaghetti squash before, but now I know what you're supposed to do with it I might be brave enough to give it a shot.

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    1. Hey Sarah! Thanks for popping in! Hope you do give it a try! It's tasty, healthy, and fun! : )

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  4. I love spaghetti squash! I need to try this recipe!

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  5. you are seriously rocking the recipes and i'm loving that! xoxo

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  6. I've now decided what I want to make for lunch. It looks so wonderful. Thanks for sharing.

    Heidi’s Wanderings

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  7. I really enjoy spaghetti squash too, such a yummy alternative to pasta!!!!

    xo Dinah @ sunshine super glam

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    1. It is just so versatile isn't it? Love it!

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  8. such an amazing idea for spaghetti squash. it's always too sweet I think, but this looks perfect. YUM!

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    1. Thanks Leah! Yes it can be sweet, the cheese and garlic and pepper really balance things! : )

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  9. Hi! I think you saw my tweet, but I featured this post as one of my favorites of the week on Lovely Llorys!

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  10. Spaghetti squash is good... has a light pasta like flavor with a hash brown like texture!! Cook it a little longer to make it softer & less for a little crunchy effect!! My hubs can't have the carbs... so he loves it & it is so good for you too!!!

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    1. It really is an amazing thing! We love to use in so many recipes! : )

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  11. i'm trying cooking spag sqash (actually squash all together) for first time. thank you! pretty good! i cooked the tomatoes and added a good amount.

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    1. Fantastic! Roasted squash is so so yummy! So many varieties to try! : )

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  12. This was AMAZING!!! I subbed part-skim shredded mozzarella for half of the parmesan cheese and it was absolutely divine. Thank you so much for this recipe, it is one of my favorite vegetarian dishes of all time!

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    1. Hi Kristen! Oh that is great!! So glad you enjoyed it! And we are glad you were able to make it your own by adding the mozzarella! Thanks so much for coming back to comment! Happy Fall! xo J&A

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Thanks so much for reading! We absolutely love to hear from you guys...so please leave a comment if the mood strikes you, or if you have any questions for us about a recipe, project, art supply , paint color, etc. Don't panic if your comment doesn't appear right away...we moderate all comments to avoid getting tons of spam. Thanks again!!
xo Jenny & Aaron