Meatless Monday? Yes! This spaghetti squash recipe from Food Network is a great one. While, let’s be honest, nothing can replace the love I have for lots and lots of pasta, spaghetti squash really does come close to imitating the look and feel of pasta’s starchy goodness. With a fresh, garlicky pesto covering it, you might even be able to fool a couple of people. (Kids? Fool the kids.)
I was a little skeptical about this kale pesto, but I really like it. And it even makes a little extra you can save and put on salmon (or some real pasta, don’t lie) later in the week. And it’s even great reheated. Boom.
- I had some pine nuts hanging around that I wanted to use up, so I substituted for the hazelnuts. Walnuts or almond would also work here, just make sure to toast them.
- I skipped the raisins since I didn’t have on hand and didn’t want to bother with it, but I’m definitely curious about what that would add to this.
- Make sure the squash is really done. It should feel soft when you flip it over on the baking sheet and the flesh should scrape easily into strands.
- I had to add the liquid to the pesto in the food processor for it to really come together — the try ingredients were too dense.
- I spent a few minutes staring questionably at the bins of squash in the grocery store when there were clearly butternut squash in the bin labeled spaghetti squash. I finally figured it out and yes, I was right. Spaghetti squash are yellow and usually oval in shape.
Spaghetti Squash with Kale Pesto
- 1 medium spaghetti squash (about 3 pounds)
- 1/3 cup hazelnuts, roughly chopped
- 2 cups roughly chopped kale leaves (about 2 ounces)
- 1/2 cup fresh parsley
- 1 clove garlic
- 2 tablespoons golden raisins
- 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese, plus more for topping
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Halve and seed the spaghetti squash; roast face-down on a baking sheets at 400 degrees F until tender, 25 minutes; let cool slightly. Scrape the squash into strands with a fork. Discard the skin.
Meanwhile, toast the hazelnuts in a dry skillet over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a plate and let cool.
Pulse the kale, parsley, garlic, raisins and 2 tablespoons of the toasted nuts in a blender or food processor until combined. Add 1/4 cup olive oil; blend until smooth. Add 1/3 cup water, the parmesan, Worcestershire sauce, 1/2 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of pepper. Pulse until the pesto comes together, adding up to 3 more tablespoons water to loosen, if necessary; season with more salt and pepper.
Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the spaghetti squash and cook, stirring, until coated. Add 3/4 cup of the kale pesto. Stir to coat, adding up to 1/2 cup water to loosen; season with salt and pepper. Top the squash with the remaining toasted nuts and more parmesan.
Cook’s Note: Refrigerate the extra pesto up to 1 week or freeze up to 1 month.