Spaghetti Squash with Butter and Cheese and Spicy Marinara with Saffron
Try this hearty, but light meal as you zero in before a huge food holiday!
- 2 large spaghetti squash
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, plus some to pass at table
- 1 cup chicken stock or water
- A generous pinch of saffron, about 24 threads
- 2 tablespoons EVOO - Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 medium onion, very finely chopped
- 1 carrot, peeled and finely chopped or grated
- 3-4 cloves garlic, finely chopped or grated
- 1 red hot cherry or Fresno chili pepper, sliced with seeds for extra-spicy sauce or seeded and finely chopped for milder heat level
- 1 28- to 32-ounce can San Marzano tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano, 1/3 palmful
- A handful of flat-leaf parsley, chopped
- A handful of basil leaves, torn
Yields: Serves 4
Heat oven to 425°F.
Split squash lengthwise and place cut-side down on a baking sheet. Roast 45 minutes-1 hour, until the squash flesh is very tender.
Meanwhile, heat stock or water in a small pot with the saffron threads to bloom the saffron and infuse the liquid with flavor.
While squash roasts, heat EVOO, a couple of turns of the pan, in a pan over medium heat. Add onions, carrot, garlic and chili pepper, and season with salt and pepper. Cook 8-10 minutes then add saffron stock and tomatoes to the pan. Crush tomatoes with a potato masher or spoon. Add oregano, parsley and basil, and simmer to thicken, 20-30 minutes over medium-low heat.
When the squash is done, melt butter in small pot. Flip squash over and shred the squash into spaghetti-like strands with a fork, leaving the flesh in the squash shells. Dress evenly with melted butter, cheese, salt and pepper.
Top each half-squash with sauce and more cheese, and serve.
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