Mains/ Recipes/ Savory

Pesto Spaghetti Squash with Blistered Tomatoes (GF + Vegan)

I’ve waited out these last bits of winter weather with a lot of “necessity” cooking. Plenty of large batches of quinoa and roasted veggies have come out of my kitchen, and very few photo-worthy dishes. But now that I’ve pushed past coat season, I can taste the summer. The Mister Softee trucks have started re-appearing in my neighborhood. I walked through a street fair yesterday, rejoicing at the sight of gyro tents and chopped watermelon cups. I keep telling myself that these next few days are key, that I have to soak up this glorious in-between moment before things move into full-fledged, subway-platform-sweating summer. I’m trying.

Pesto always reminds me of summer, despite the fact that I eat it year round. This recipe is a great way to get some extra greens in, as it hides a solid amount of spinach in the sauce. The tomatoes add a touch of acidity. I left the garlic out of the pesto in honor of my colleagues, who have to speak to me moments after I eat this dish for lunch, but feel free to blend in a raw clove. This made four large portions with a large squash.

Ingredients:

1 large bunch of basil leaves

1/2 a bag of fresh baby spinach (about 3-4 oz)

1/2 cup of raw almonds

1 large spaghetti squash

1 container cherry tomatoes (10-16 oz)

Olive oil, salt, pepper

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Using a large, very sharp knife and cutting board, slice your spaghetti squash lengthwise. Use a regular spoon to scoop out the seeds and discard them.

IMGP8763In a deep baking tray or dish, add about an inch of water, then plop the squash halves in, with the inner sides facing down in the water. Bake the squash face down for about 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine the spinach, basil, and almonds in a food processor or blender.

IMGP8770Add in tablespoons of water and oil as needed. I started with 2 tbsp of water and 1 tbsp of oil, blended my greens, then added in another bunch of spinach and added another 2 tbsp of water and 1 tbsp of oil. You want to avoid adding too much liquid.

IMGP8773Add in a few shakes of salt and pepper and blend once more.

IMGP8778Remove your squash after 30 minutes and pour the water carefully out in the sink. Your squash will be very hot, so be cautious when flipping them. Use a fork to flip your squash so that the inside is facing up. Let cool.

While the squash cools, rinse your tomatoes and dump them into the same pan. Roast whole in the oven at 350 for 15 minutes or until you notice that some have opened or wrinkled. Remove from heat.

IMGP8784Next, use a spoon to scoop all of the “spaghetti” into a large bowl.

IMGP8781Toss in your pesto and blistered tomatoes and stir thoroughly. Add salt, pepper and oil as needed. Feel free to finish with a squeeze of fresh lemon.

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