If you are like me, you may have cut out or reduced the carb heavy Italian foods like spaghetti and lasagna in favor of healthier options. However, Italian food is my absolute favorite! I can eat the tomato sauce straight from the jar. Literally. And my Italian blood craves it from time to time which is why I love this healthy spin on pasta!
Why is spaghetti squash healthier than pasta noodles (regardless of the type of noodle)? The most important reason is that it is not processed. I love the phrase “If God made it, it is ok, but if man made it, stay away”. Naturally there is no gluten, dairy, wheat, yeast, or salt in squash. Your waistline will thank you because whole wheat pasta packs on about 150 more calories and 30 more grams of carbs than its replacement, spaghetti squash.
This recipe requires a homemade tomato sauce. If you decide to buy the sauce instead, be sure to check the label for added sugar. The sauce recipe shown here is courtesy of my Grandma Jan. Her secret ingredient is sugar, but my secret for staying healthy is to leave the sugar out 🙂 Sorry Grandma!
The squash will easily come out in strands just like spaghetti (see picture below) . Each squash makes a lot! I used two large squash for 8 people and had leftovers for days. One squash would be enough to feed about 5-7 people depending on how much sauce is added. I cooked the squash and tomato sauce the night before and left the sauce on low the next day in a crock-pot to let it marinade. I added the spaghetti squash right before serving to prevent it from becoming too mushy. You can modify this if need be.
1. 1 spaghetti squash
2. 1 large can of crushed tomatoes
3. 2 cloves of fresh garlic
4. 1 small white onion
5. 2 tbsp Italian seasoning
6. Chopped fresh basil
7. Chopped fresh parsley
8. Olive oil
9. Salt and pepper to taste
1. Cut squash in half and place on a cookie sheet with the skin side up. Add a little water to the pan to prevent the squash from drying out.
2. Bake at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes or until squash is soft.
3. Chop up onions and garlic. Sauté in olive oil on medium in a large pot until starting to golden.
4. Add chopped tomatoes, italian seasoning, basil, parsley, and salt and pepper to taste. Cook on medium for 15 minutes. Store in fridge overnight if cooked the night before.
5. Remove squash using a fork and store in a glass container overnight. This is not like shredding chicken, it will come out in strands very easily. You can also add directly to warmed sauce if eating immediately.
6. Reheat tomato sauce in crock-pot on low for 6-8 hours or warm tomato sauce in large pot. Add squash 30 minutes before serving.
7. Enjoy!! Pair it with a salad (include nuts for protein) or a piece of fish or chicken for added protein.
Dr. Katie Corazzo
Naturopathic Doctor in the Twin Cities ~ Woodbury and Edina, Minnesota