I've cooked spaghetti squash many times and served it as a side dish, but this was the first time I had ever used it as a replacement for pasta. Wow. I had no idea what I was missing. It was absolutely delicious, and honestly, neither Brad nor I missed the actual pasta. The vegetables that I used gave it a fresh, summery taste, and the goat cheese perfectly melted into the vegetables and squash to create a creamy, tangy sauce.
One quick note: Don't be intimated by the spaghetti squash. They are rather large, and can sometimes be difficult to cut, but it you stick the squash in the microwave for a couple of minutes, the squash will soften slightly, and your job becomes much easier. After that, all you have to do is roast it in the oven, allow the squash some time to cool, and then use a fork to scoop out the flesh. As you scoop, it turns into perfect "spaghetti-like" strings all on its own.
Creamy Spaghetti Squash Primavera
1 large spaghetti squash
1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 green pepper, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
8 oz. cremini mushrooms, sliced
1/2 pint grape tomatoes, cut in half
6 oz. garlic and herb goat cheese
salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Place the spaghetti squash in the microwave on high for 2 1/2 to 3 minutes. Using a very sharp knife, cut off the end of the squash, and then set the squash up on its now-flat side and slice it in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds and soft flesh, like you would a pumpkin, and then place the two squash halves on a baking sheet and cover with aluminum foil. Bake for 40 minutes. Allow to cool slightly before scooping out the stringy flesh.
While the squash is cooking, prepare your vegetables. When the squash is out of the oven, begin cooking the vegetables in a large frying pan.
Add the extra virgin olive oil over medium high heat, and toss in the onions and peppers. Cook for about 5 minutes before adding the mushrooms. Cook for another 2-3 minutes. Finally add the tomatoes, and cook for 2 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste. Finally add the goat cheese. As you stir, it will melt and cover all the vegetables. Turn the heat to low.
Once you have scooped out the spaghetti squash, add it to the creamy vegetables and stir. You may need to add a couple tablespoons of milk to help loosen up the sauce enough to coat all the squash.
Serve hot and with grated Parmesan cheese sprinkled on top.