The key here is flavor. And I mean FLAVOR! Big, bright, bursting at the seems kinds of flavors. And that is exactly what you get with my Italian Mediterranean Spaghetti Squash. It’s something I created one night rummaging in the frige, which truth be told can be dangerous, but as I said, sometimes I really nail it. And I tend to have a lot of these ingredients on hand; although, this is another one of those recipes that you could really play with. So if you don't like or have one thing, swop in another. Make it your own. And if you cook the squash and tomatoes a couple days ahead, this dish is a totaly snap to pull together on a busy weeknight.
Italian Mediterranean Spaghetti Squash
(a Girl and Her Kitchen original)
• 1 large spaghetti squash (or 2 small)
• 6-8 medium large vine ripened tomatoes (though really any tomato will do), chopped
• 1-2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
• 1 tablespoon Herbs de Provence
• 2 garlic cloves, smashed
• 1/2 cup fresh basil, rough chop
• 4-6 sundried tomatoes, rough chop
• 1/2 cup kalamata olives, halved
• 1-2 roasted peppers, rough chop
• 4-6 artichoke hearts (marinated and packed in oil and vinegar), drained (though you may want to save a couple tablespoons of the liquid), rough chop
• 1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
• 1/2 cup of Pecorino Romano cheese
• 1/4 cup of Parmigianino cheese
• 3 tablespoons Olive oil
• Salt and Pepper, to taste
Rustic Roasted Tomato Sauce:
On an unlined, ungreased sheet pan toss the chopped tomatoes (I make big chunks) with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, herbs de provence, smashed garlic cloves, salt, pepper and sherry vinegar (can substitute any vinegar you like) until the tomatoes are evenly coated.
Spread the tomatoes into an even layer and roast at 300° for at least an hour, though 2-3 hours is best. The tomatoes should fall apart a bit and their juices should be largely gone. This can definitely be made a couple days ahead. Save in airtight container in the refrigerator and then warm up in sauce pan before assembling the condiment. (See below for before and after shots.)
Cook the spaghetti squash:
Apparently you can do this in the microwave and I may try that one day, but for now I use the oven. Pierce the squash all over with a long skewer.
Assemble the condiment:
Place the pine nuts in a small dry sauté pan. Put the pan on medium low and gently toast the nuts. Keep an eye on it. The oils in the pine nuts will quickly burn if you are not careful. Stir the nuts around here and there. They are done when you can smell them and they have turned a light golden color.