Let's Dish host Chris Koetke shows us how to make spaghetti squash

CLEVELAND - Chris Koetke, host of Let's Dish, has a fun and healthy twist on the traditional spaghetti with marinara sauce.  By using squash instead of pasta, your dish will not only bring out a new flavor and texture, but also improves the dish's nutrition.

Recipe for Spaghetti Squash

Difficulty: Moderate

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 30 minutes

Serves: 6

4 Tablespoons olive oil

2 cups thinly sliced onions (about 1 large onion)

1 red or green bell pepper, thinly sliced

7 cloves garlic, chopped

2 ripe tomatoes, seeded and diced (about 1 ¾ cups)

¼  cup red wine (optional)

24-26 oz. jar of marinara sauce

1 – 3 ½ to 4 pound spaghetti squash

3 oz. fresh baby spinach

¼  cup fresh grated parmesan cheese

4+ Tablespoons chopped fresh basil

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon ground black pepper

1.       To prepare the tomato sauce, sauté onions and peppers in 2 Tablespoons of olive oil in a large sauté pan over high heat.  Cook until the vegetables are soft. 

2.       Add 4 cloves of garlic and cook for 1 minute.  Add tomatoes and cook for 3 more minutes.

3.       Pour in the red wine and bring to a boil.  Cook for 2 minutes to evaporate the alcohol from the wine.  Add the marinara sauce and continue cooking for 10 more minutes.  Reserve and keep warm.

4.       Pierce the squash all over with a small paring knife.

5.       Place the squash in the microwave and cook on high for 8 minutes.  Then, carefully turn over the squash.  Continue cooking on high for an additional 7-8 minutes or until the squash gives to gentle pressure. Remove from the microwave and let it cool for 5 minutes.  Be careful when handling as it can be very hot.

6.       Meanwhile, sauté remaining 3 garlic cloves in remaining 2 Tablespoons of olive oil.  Reserve. 

7.       Once the squash has cooled for 5 minutes, carefully halve the squash lengthwise (there will be steam) and discard seeds. Working over a bowl, scrape squash flesh with a fork into large bowl.   Stir in spinach, parmesan cheese, basil, salt, pepper, and garlic and olive oil that had been previously sautéed together.

8.       Divide the squash into 4 servings, ladle on the marinara sauce.

Top it with your favorite marinara sauce and you have a great and healthy meal to serve your family.  You can find more recipes like this at the Live Well Network.

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