I loved spaghetti squash when I was a kid. Why? Because it was a vegetable… but it LOOKED like NOODLES! Sounds like a great plan to get kids to eat their veggies to me. Then again, what do I know–I am not a parent, and from what I can tell I was a “weird” kid in that I liked veggies way more than any of my friends did when they were children. Still–why not give it a shot?
I had a ridiculously humongous bunch of basil sitting in the fridge with which I was anxious to make some fresh pesto. As long as I’m having these “noodles,” I thought, why not top them with my homemade pesto.
Thus was born Spaghetti Squash “Noodles” with Basil-Almond Pesto and Tomatoes
First, to make my pesto. I met a pesto vendor at the Windsor Farmers Market this weekend who sold an array of interesting pestos (pestoes?). One was made with hazelnuts, while another used arugula, almonds and a bit of jalapeño. They were all incredibly tasty, and inspired me to try branching out with my own pesto. I love the toasted pine nuts that I usually use, but I decided to use toasted almonds today instead.
The players: Lots of fresh basil, chopped and toasted almonds, juice of half a lemon, 2 cloves Chesnook garlic, mix of Romano and Parmesan cheeses, salt, pepper, olive oil.
First off–yes, my food processor is sitting on a chair in the living room. A recently blown circuit meant that my kitchen outlets were not functioning (it’s fixed now). However, my determination to make pesto was too strong to let some silly power outage get in my way. Where there’s a will, there’s a way. . .
Almonds and garlic get pulsed first until finely ground. Add basil and pulse until fine; pulse in lemon juice and cheeses. Add olive oil in a steady stream while pulsing until a good consistency forms. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Now to fix some squash!
One Spaghetti Squash. . .
… cut in half, lengthwise.
Scoop out the seeds. I suppose I could have roasted these, too.
Place the squash cut-side down on a baking sheet. Roast at 375 degrees F for about half an hour. The squash is done when you can easily stick it with a fork.
When it’s done, flip it over (wait for it to cool down slightly, first). Using a fork, scrape the flesh away from the peel. The flesh with come out in strings which resemble. . . you’ll never guess. . . Spaghetti! You can eat it just like this, if you like. (Note the terrible lighting, thanks to my dark kitchen!)
After roasting, I sauteed the strings with some olive oil and garlic, and topped it with some chopped tomato.
Then, of course, I added my pesto, along with a little extra Romano cheese.