Swap Plain Pasta for This Tomato and Spaghetti Squash Recipe

Filed under: Nutrition: Health, Mealtime

It seems like even the pickiest little eater will gladly head to the table when there's a plate of pasta up for grabs. It's right up there with pizza as the most popular dish on children's menus in restaurants across the country. And it's not just kids who love pasta -- adults are just as satisfied by this delicious comfort food. But after a few days of pasta and sauce, even the biggest spaghetti fan can start to get a little bored.

Have you every tried the vegetable version of this dish that looks identical to spaghetti, but grows right in your garden? Spaghetti squash, when cooked, is light yellow in appearance and has strands that look just like pasta. The good news is that this type of "spaghetti" is free of gluten, a great source of vitamin A, and gives the body a healthy dose of fibre as well as other B-vitamins. You can even mix it in with your usual pasta dish for a nice touch of flavour and an added health kick.

Full recipe, after the jump...
Tomato Spaghetti Squash
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 45 to 60 minutes
Serves: Five to seven people (depending on the size of the squash)

1 spaghetti squash
1 cup tomato sauce, no salt added (or your favourite pesto or pasta sauce, if you prefer)
2 tbsp grated low-fat Parmesan cheese
Sea salt to taste

  • Preheat oven 400F.
  • Wash the squash and cut in half, horizontally.
  • Scoop out all the loose pieces and seeds from inside the squash. (Tip: The small seeds can be used for roasting on a separate baking sheet, sprinkled in sea salt.)
  • Place both halves of your squash in a baking dish, flesh side facing up. Place about one inch of water in the dish to prevent the squash from drying out.
  • Place the dish in the oven and bake for about 45 minutes to one hour. To test for doneness, pierce the skin with a fork or knife and it should easily poke through.
  • Remove dish from oven.
  • Let cool and then scoop out all the spaghetti-like strands into a glass bowl.
  • Add the tomato sauce (or pasta sauce), and sea salt to the spaghetti strands. Mix well.
  • If needed, place the bowl in the microwave for two minutes (covered), to let the tomato flavours mix with the squash.
  • Sprinkle the top with cheese and serve.

Karla Heintz, B.Sc., is a nutrition educator and author of Picky? Not Me, Mom! A Parents' Guide to Children's Nutrition. If you have a question you would like answered please leave it in the comment section below. Thanks!

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.