Serves 4 to 6
If you are watching your carbs but are longing for spaghetti, this is the recipe you need, simple and delicious. Take care to not overbake the squash. It is done when a paring knife can be inserted with just a little resistance. When you are dressing the squash, treat it like spaghetti: toss it well, so every strand gets dressed, and do not forget the basil and the grated Grana Padano. In our family, we mainly ate squash roasted as a side dish or in a salad, or used it in the dough of fresh pasta, or as a stuffing for filled pastas. Spaghetti squash was something new for me, but it is a great alternative for anyone who is gluten-free.
- 1 large spaghetti squash, halved lengthwise, seeded
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
- Kosher salt
- 1 medium onion, sliced
- 4 hot pickled cherry peppers, seeded, sliced
- One 24-ounce jar tomato passata
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano, preferably Sicilian oregano, on the branch
- Peperoncino flakes
- 1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh basil
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Grana Padano
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment. Brush the cut sides of the squash with olive oil, and season with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Lay the pieces, cut side down, on the baking sheet, and roast until a paring knife inserted into the center of the squash slides out with just a little resistance, 25 to 30 minutes.
While the squash roasts, make the sauce. In a large skillet, heat 1/4 cup olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion, and cook until it’s softened, about 4 minutes. Add the chopped peppers, and cook until they’re sizzling, about 1 minute. Add the tomato passata, and bring it to a simmer. Stir in 1 cup water, the oregano, 1 teaspoon salt, and a big pinch of peperoncino. Simmer until slightly thickened, 10 to 12 minutes.
While the squash is still hot, use two forks to loosen it into strands and transfer these to the skillet with the simmering sauce. Toss with tongs to coat the strands in the sauce. Add the basil and grated cheese, toss well, and serve.