Thursday, April 25, 2013

Spaghetti Squash with Roasted Asparagus and Almond Pesto

I discovered this recipe on the cover of Fine Cooking Magazine while in line at the grocery store and it was just so beautiful, I had to get out of line and go back into the store to get the ingredients to make it!

I'm glad I did because it was just as pretty and delicious as it looked!

The magazine called for Parmesan in the pesto (left it out), grape tomatoes (I used a mix of grape and yellow heirloom), and the original recipe was made with linguine instead of spaghetti squash.

If you haven't tried spaghetti squash, you absolutely must!  You're bound to see a lot of squashy posts on here due to my fervent passion for the vegetable in any color, shape, size, or season! I have to say that squash in spaghetti form is one of the most easy and fun ways to eat it.

Here we go!


1 spaghetti squash
3/4 pound of asparagus
2 cups of the prettiest tiny tomatoes you can find
1/2 cup of sliced almonds
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves
Sea salt 
Olive Oil

Spaghetti Squash:

I'm not kidding... it's really REALLY easy!
  • Pick out a nice spaghetti squash (bright yellow and heavier-than-it-looks means it's a good one)
  • Bring it home.
  • Stab your nice spaghetti squash with a fork several times on all sides (it won't mind)
  • Microwave it for 5 minutes.
  • CAREFULLY turn it over and microwave another 5 minutes.
  • Turn it again and another 3-5 minutes in the micro.
  • You'll know it is done when it gives a little when you poke it.
  • Wait for it to cool a bit and carefully cut it in half
  • Scoop out the seeds and mushy stuff in the middle
  • (Here's the fun part) Rake a fork through the squash and you'll see magical spaghetti squash strands appear!  
  • Set your spaghetti aside for later

Pesto and Veggies:

  • Preheat your oven to 425
  • Cut the bottom half-inch or so off of the asparagus (in my picture below, I cut it into chunks too early and later had to separate the stems and tips by hand!)
  • Place the asparagus and tomatoes on a baking sheet with some olive oil and sprinkle some salt
  • Bake for approximately 18 minutes until the tomatoes are nice and wrinkly and the asparagus is bright green and a little toasty
  • Toast your almonds for about 10 minutes on another baking sheet
  • Set aside the tomatoes
  • Set aside the asparagus tips. Chop up the asparagus stems
  • Set aside 2 tablespoons of toasted almonds
  • Grind up the rest of the almonds in the magic bullet
  • Add the following into your magic bullet along with your ground almonds:
    • Asparagus stems
    • Basil
    • Olive oil to taste and consistency
    • A little salt
    • (if you're a cheese person, you can add 2 tablespoons of grated parm here)
  • Blend it up!  I had to stop, shake it, and add olive oil a few times.

Finishing Touches:

  • Mix the pesto with the spaghetti squash.
  • Add some water if the pesto is more paste-y than saucy. (Rachael Ray would tell you to add starchy pasta water but since we don't have any, regular water works just fine!)
  • Garnish with the asparagus tips, tomatoes, and the rest of the toasted almonds
Enjoy your masterpiece with some vino and keep up the good cooking, good looking!

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