Rachael’s Spaghetti Squash with Pesto alla Genovese
How to Cook Spaghetti Squash (Rachel Ray Method)
A big bowl of pasta is the ultimate comfort food. Whether you’re eating it with seafood or chicken, with an array of colorful veggies, or with a creamy cheese sauce, there seems to be a pasta recipe that can satisfy almost any palate. Indulging in decadent pastas every day can be rough on the waistline, but luckily you can recreate any of your favorite pasta recipes using spaghetti squash. Using the spaghetti squash prep method used by Rachael Ray, you can learn how to create two of her many signature dishes.
1 spaghetti squash
Salt & pepper
For the Roasted Tomato & Basil Recipe
24 plum or Roma tomatoes
4 cloves of garlic, chopped
2 tablespoons (29.57 mL) of thyme, chopped
Basil (about 12 leaves)
Grated Parmesan cheese
For the Bolognese Sauce
1/4 pound pancetta (thick slices)
1 – 1.5 lbs ground sirloin
1 carrot, diced
1 onion, diced
3 cloves of garlic, chopped
1/4 cup (59.15 mL) tomato paste
1/2 cup (118.3 mL) red wine
1/2 cup (118.3 mL) beef stock
1/2 cup (118.3 mL) basil, chopped
1/2 cup (118.3 mL) parsley, chopped
Preparing the Squash
Preheat your oven.Depending on your oven, this will take anywhere from 10 to 20 minutes, so it’s best to do this first. Set it to 400° Fahrenheit, or 200° Celsius.While your oven heats up, you will prepare your spaghetti squash for roasting.
Wash and cut your squash.Give your squash a good rinse in cold water before starting. Whether you got it from the supermarket, the farmer’s market, or from a friendly neighbor, the FDA recommends washing all produce before cooking or eating it.Once it’s cleaned to your satisfaction, you’ll need to cut it.
- To cut your spaghetti squash, you’ll want to use a very sharp knife. You’ll have a difficult time piercing the squash with a dull one.
- Cut it in half, length-wise.
Remove the seeds and season.Using a spoon or a melon scoop, gently remove all of the seeds from each half of the squash. Toss those in the garbage. Once your spaghetti squash halves are seedless, lightly drizzle olive oil on each half and season with a bit of salt and pepper.Place them cut side down on a baking sheet.
Roast the spaghetti squash for an hour.The spaghetti squash is done when the outside is tender. If, at the hour mark, they are not tender, you can keep them in for a bit longer and keep an eye on them.When the outsides feel soft and malleable, remove the baking sheet from the oven.
Shred the squash.To do this, turn your halves cut side up and rake a fork along the inside. The squash should easily shred into strands that look like spaghetti.Keep running your fork along the inside of the squash until you’ve gotten all of the “spaghetti” strands loose. Now that you’ve created your spaghetti base, you can spice it up by following one of these two very different recipes!
Adding Roasted Tomatoes and Basil
Slice and roast your tomatoes.While your spaghetti squash is roasting away, you’ll need to halve about 24 plum or Roma tomatoes, and then place them on a rimmed baking sheet. Top your tomatoes with the sliced garlic cloves and chopped thyme, and then drizzle them with olive oil. Season it all with salt and pepper.
- Place the tomatoes in the oven when your squash is about halfway done. Pull your tomatoes out as soon as they are brown at the edges and look wilted. This should take around 30 minutes.
Mash your tomatoes.When the tomatoes are done roasting, pull them out of the oven and transfer them all into a bowl. Add your torn basil leaves. If you like your food extra garlicky, feel free to add more chopped garlic as well. Mash the mixture, blending everything together.
Top your spaghetti squash with the mixture.When you’re satisfied with the texture of the tomato mixture, spoon it on top of the two spaghetti squash halves. Each half is a single portion, and you’ll be serving this pasta right out of the “shell!” To finish, top each half with grated Parmesan cheese.
Creating a Bolognese Sauce
Cook the pancetta and sirloin.While your spaghetti squash is roasting in the oven, you’ll prepare the sauce. Add about two tablespoons (29.57 mL) of olive oil to the skillet. Set your stovetop to medium high heat.
- Place the pancetta in the skillet. It will probably take about five minutes to crisp up, but just keep watching the pan.
- When the pancetta is nice and crispy, add the sirloin and cook another six to seven minutes. When the sirloin is golden brown, it’s all set.
Add the chopped onion, carrot, and garlic to the skillet.You’ll want to cook these for about five minutes or so. Continue stirring them, and wait for them to get nice and tender. Season your meat and veggies with salt and pepper.
Stir in the tomato paste, red wine, and beef stock.The tomato paste should go in first. You’ll stir that into the skillet for about a minute, or until it’s a golden brown color. Then pour in the red wine and the beef stock, continuously stirring to prevent things from sticking to the pan. Set your timer for five minutes, and let the sauce thicken. Continue stirring sporadically so that the sauce doesn’t stick.
Ladle the sauce onto the spaghetti squash.Each half of the squash is one portion, and you’ll be serving them in their little boats. Spoon generous portions of the sauce onto each half, and then sprinkle the parsley and basil on top. If you want, you can also add a bit of cheese.
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Video: How to Cook Spaghetti Squash
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