Spaghetti Squash Puttanesca – vegan-friendly
$3.75 airport yogurt, continental-breakfast instant oatmeal, and a day’s-worth of sodium with each meal… After an exciting, whirlwind tour through the Emerald City, sprinting from trains to planes and braving one of the wettest cities with only 3.4-ounce bottles of curl-taming hair products, I’m ready to get back to some home-cooking — more specifically, my #WholesomeAutumn home-cooking!
If you’ve never had spaghetti squash before, now is the time to sample these surprisingly satisfying strands — the prep is easy, and the deliciousness is real. Just roast, fork, top, and eat! While many recipes suggest jeopardizing life and limb by attempting to cut the raw spaghetti squash in half prior to roasting, I prefer the much safer roast-it-whole method. Just in case you’ve never tried slaughtering a butternut, acorn, or spaghetti squash before, you should know that they’re darned hard to split. Even a sharp knife requires the force of a team of oxen for complete gourd bisection. So, unless you were born with polydactyly and thus have a few digits to spare, I recommend taking the safer route to sumptuous squash success.
Once you’ve roasted the squash, allowed it to cool a bit, and sliced the now-butter-soft fruit in half, take a fork to its guts, and watch them unfurl. The lightest of fork pressure causes the flesh to practically dissolve into long, golden strands, each possessing a mild succulent flavor, which pairs well with the sauce of your choosing.
My favorite make-at-home sauce is a puttanesca sauce –he perfect balance of sweet, savory, and tangy. This masterful mix of Sicilian flavors yields a rich, chunky sauce, perfect for bathing the spaghetti squash strands in luxurious Mediterranean flavors. Though my usual puttanesca sauce gets part of its flavor punch from the brininess of anchovies (don’t say ewww, they literally just taste like salt and umami), I opted to pass on them this time — partly because of my eating-out sodium-overload and partly because of my desire to keep this recipe vegan-friendly. If you want a more authentic puttanesca experience though, dissolve 3-5 anchovy fillets in in the olive oil with the spices prior to adding the vegetables.
Though the recipe itself is 100% vegan, I usually top my massive plate of squash and sauce (+/- a layer of wilted arugula in between) with a poached egg so that the rich, runny yolk adds to the sauce’s, well, sauciness 🙂