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Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Triple Squash Roasted Red Pepper "Spaghetti" and Marinara

Whether you have a garden this Summer, you're participating in a CSA, or you just enjoy the abundance of fresh US-grown veggies this time of year, this is an excellent hearty and healthy, put-it-together-in-a-flash weeknight meal.  Let's not forget how inexpensive it is too!  I couldn't believe how great this meal tasted.  I almost felt bad for how quickly it came together once the veggies were roasted.  Roasting veggies doesn't exactly take much effort or babysitting on the part of the cook, so I can't even really count that part.  You really don't even need to cook this sauce beyond simply warming it to desired serving temperature, if you opt not to add the wine.  The key here is quality canned tomatoes and roasting the veggies.  It brings out an unparalleled flavor that will have everyone begging for more!  No one else needs to know how little effort it took to pull together. Get ready to try a new family favorite!  Yum, yum, yum!

1 large can whole plum tomatoes in sauce (I recommend Hunt's or Kroger Private Selection)
1 large can crushed tomatoes  (I recommend Hunt's or Kroger Private Selection)
1 large spaghetti squash
1 large red bell pepper
2 pieces zucchini squash
2 pieces yellow summer squash (straight or crookneck)
1 fresh tomato, if you have it (no worries if you don't)
5 cloves of garlic, unpeeled
1 fistful of fresh basil (no dried!)
1 tsp crushed red pepper
about 1 TB salt (preferably sea salt)
lots of black pepper to taste (preferably coarse ground or freshly ground)
1/2 glass Chardonnay (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 450 F

2.Split spaghetti squash in half length-wise and scoop out seeds. Drizzle with olive oil and season liberally with salt and pepper.  Place split-side down on a lined pan.

3. In a separate lined pan, place yellow squash, zucchini squash, red pepper, garlic, and tomato.  Drizzle with olive oil and season liberally with salt and pepper.  Spread in one even layer across pan.

4.  Bake spaghetti squash and mixed veggie pans uncovered until squashes (including spaghetti squash) are fork tender and other vegetables are roasted and soft to touch.
Note: Zucchini and yellow summer squash and other veggies may finish before spaghetti squash.  Remove from oven and set aside once done.

5. Once mixed veggies done, add peeled tomato, peeled garlic, peeled red pepper, basil, can of plum tomatoes, salt, and pepper to a blender or food processor and process until desired smoothness achieved.  I like mine uniform, but still somewhat chunky.  Yellow squash and zucchini will remain set aside.
Note: You may want to put tomato and roasted red pepper into a plastic bag once cooled someone and seal in steam for a few minutes to aid in removal of skin.

6. Allow spaghetti squash to cool.

7. Meanwhile, place pureed veggies, crushed tomatoes, and crushed red pepper, in a pot over medium heat and bring to a boil.  Season generously with salt and pepper.  Add in grated Parmesan to taste.  Adjust salt and pepper

8. At this point, the sauce is absolutely divine!  If you'd like, you can add in half a glass of wine.  I did Chardonnay.  Without the wine, the sauce is fresher tasting and, with it, it tastes deeper, richer.  I loved both ways.

9.  Gently stir in yellow squash and zucchini squash, along with any pan juices, and voila!  Serve a ladle-full of sauce on top of your spaghetti squash "pasta" and top with extra Parm, and you're done!  That simple :)  Enjoy :)

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