Spaghetti Squash “Capellini” with Sweet Pepper Marinara
From Vegan for Everyone
Makes 4 to 5 servings
The combination of roasted squash smothered in a hearty, homemade marinara sauce makes a delicious entrée. Lighter in calories than traditional pasta, but super satisfying, give this one a try when you want to serve a satisfying alternative to the classic dish.
1 large sweet onion, chopped
2 tablespoons, plus 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 1/2 tablespoons tamari
1 1/2 teaspoons Italian seasoning blend, divided
1/2 cup, plus 2 tablespoons water, plus more as needed
1 medium red or orange sweet bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 can (26 to 28 ounces) crushed tomatoes (fire-roasted are nice)
Scant 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 large spaghetti squash, sliced in half lengthwise
Sea salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Chopped fresh parsley or basil, for serving (optional)
To make the sauce, put the sweet onion and 2 tablespoons olive oil into a large sauté pan and cook over medium heat for 1 minute. Add the tamari and 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning blend, cover and cook for about 3 minutes, or until the onion becomes translucent, adding 2 tablespoons of water, if the pan becomes dry. Add the bell pepper and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, adding 2 tablespoons of water, if the pan becomes dry. Add the tomatoes, crushed red pepper, and remaining ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning blend. Pour 1/2 cup water into the tomato can and slosh it around to loosen the remaining crushed tomatoes. Add the “tomato water” to the pan.
Decrease the heat to medium-low. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, for 35 to 45 minutes.
Meanwhile, prepare the spaghetti squash. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a 9 by 12- inch rimmed baking pan with unbleached parchment paper. Using a grapefruit spoon or sturdy teaspoon, scoop out the seeds and stringy flesh from the inside of the squash. Season each squash half with 1 teaspoon olive oil, salt, and pepper, to taste. Arrange the spaghetti squash halves cut side down on the prepared pan, and bake for 50 to 55 minutes (see note), or until the outside of the squash is very soft to the touch and the inside edge of each squash half is golden. Put the pan on a wire rack, and let cool for about 15 minutes.
Scoop out the spaghetti squash strands and arrange them on individual serving plates. Break up the strands to resemble cooked spaghetti. Spoon a generous amount of the marinara sauce over each serving of squash, garnish with optional parsley or basil, and serve.
Chef’s note: The baking time for the squash will vary depending upon the size of the squash.