Sunday, October 17, 2010

Spaghetti Squash with Tomatoes, Basil and Parmesan

This is a great recipe for what is right now in Texas the "in-between" season. Warm enough for shorts and brunch on a sunny patio, but still with a nip in the air as you go out for the morning newspaper.

This dish uses the last of that basil still in your herb garden and the few tomatoes you scrounged up from the farmers market...tossed with one of my favorite winter squashes. It's yummy. And a great way to get people to try spaghetti squash. The deconstructed pesto sauce provides a great flavor punch.

Spaghetti Squash with Tomatoes, Basil and Parmesan
Makes two servings.

One 3-pound spaghetti squash, halved lengthwise, reserving one half for another use, and the seeds discarded
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup shredded fresh basil leaves plus additional for garnish
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
3 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan
1 cup thinly sliced cherry tomatoes (or one cup coarsely chopped beefsteak tomatoes)

In a glass baking dish arrange the squash half, cut side down, pour 1/4 cup water around it, and place in a preheated 400° oven. Bake for 50-60 minutes or until soft. Let cool slightly.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl whisk together the oil, 1/4 cup of the basil, the oregano, and 2 tablespoons of the Parmesan, stir in the tomatoes, and season the mixture with salt and pepper.

While the squash is still warm scrape it with a fork to form strands, add the strands to the tomato mixture, and toss the mixture until it is combined. Divide the mixture between 2 bowls, sprinkle the remaining 1 tablespoon Parmesan over it, and garnish it with the additional basil.

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