Spaghetti Squash with Moroccan Tomato Sauce

Spaghetti squash

I know, I know, I know. Another squash recipe?! ‘Tis the season! Maybe I’ll have to rename the blog “Squashyard Kitchen.” Doesn’t quite have the same ring to it. 😉 This simple recipe is a play on one of the most common preparations of spaghetti squash. Any vegetable that masquerades as pasta is fine by me. Spaghetti squash is particularly great because its light flavor allows it to easily absorb any sauce you choose to top it with. This is an easy peasy weeknight meal that requires very little hands on time. It’s also very versatile. Moroccan food is full of exotic spices that add wonderful warmth to a simple tomato sauce. To keep things bright, I made my tomato sauce with cilantro, but if you’re one of those folks that thinks cilantro tastes like soap (another genetic predisposition I’m afraid), please feel free to substitute parsley, basil, or even mint! I also topped mine with some crumbled goat cheese, though feta would be great too. Finally, if you’d like to add some protein, whip up a batch of meatballs to serve with the dish or simply add some canned chickpeas to your tomato sauce after you’ve blended it.

1 Spaghetti squash
1 28 oz can of diced tomatoes
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 shallot, minced
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 tsp coriander
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp cardamom
1/4 tsp thyme
1 pinch chili flakes
Salt and pepper to taste
1 bunch cilantro
Goat cheese for garnish

1. Preheat the oven to 400*. While it’s heating, use a sharp knife to cut off the stem end of the squash. Next cut the squash in half lengthwise and remove the seeds. Lightly brush the inside of the squash with olive oil and sprinkle it with salt. Place face down on a baking sheet and place in the oven. It will bake for 30-45 minutes, until easily punctured with a fork.
2. While the squash it cooking, heat your olive oil in a saucepot and add your shallot, garlic, and spices. Heat them over medium heat until the shallot begins to turn translucent.
3. Add the canned tomatoes (including the liquid) and bring the sauce to a low simmer. Allow to cook for about 15 minutes.
4. When the sauce appears to have thickened a bit, go ahead and blend it using an immersion blender or in small batches in a regular blender. Remove it from the heat and stir in a small handful of cilantro leaves. Taste the sauce and add salt and pepper as you see fit.
5. When the squash is cooked through, carefully use a fork and grate it along the inside of the squash. The “noodles” will easily separate.
6. Dish the squash into bowls and top with tomato sauce, some goat cheese, and fresh cilantro. Enjoy!