Last week I was craving spaghetti, but I wasn’t particularly interested in all the pasta carbs and all the pre-made sauce ingredients (despite being kind of a sucker for pre-made sauce…I know…). I had never tried spaghetti squash before, but it has the word spaghetti right in its name, and I knew it looked like spaghetti, so I picked one up when I was at the store, along with some crushed tomatoes, some rarely purchased, but quite loved, capers, and a bunch of other fresh ingredients.
As soon as I got home, I looked up how to cook spaghetti squash, and used the baking method found here…sort of. I didn’t read the directions very carefully, and I cooked my squash rind side down since that is how I’ve seen other squashes get cooked. FYI – that is ineffective for spaghetti squash. After some reworking and saving of the squash, I had a pretty good consistency for the strands.
That night, I made my own super easy tomato sauce.
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 cup vegetable broth
- 1.5 cups crushed tomatoes with sauce
- .5 cups water
- 1 tbsp dry basil
- 1 tsp capers, no liquid
- 6 black, pitted olives, sliced
Pour the vegetable broth into a sauté pan and add the garlic.Let it simmer for a bit, so the garlic mellows out and releases all it’s greatness (move it around so it doesn’t burn and stick). Add in the crushed tomatoes, water, and basil. Bring to a boil, and then turn down the heat. Let simmer and reduce until your spoon easily coats with the sauce and you can make a clear line run over the pan. Drop in the olives and capers at the last minute. Pour on your spaghetti squash.
This makes enough for two small-medium servings – about one half of the spaghetti squash (like exactly – if you’re making it for two, I’d up everything a bit).
The next day I used most of the remaining spaghetti squash to make an even easier light Thai peanut “stir-fry” with tofu, tomatoes, carrots, cilantro, kale, and cucumber. I cheated and used Trader Joe’s Spicy Peanut Vinaigrette (not spicy), which doesn’t exactly meet my current oil-free criterion. Doh.
I let my tofu and carrots soak in the dressing for about an hour before letting them pan fry. When pan frying without any additional oil to what is in the dressing, keep an eye on it. I just wanted a little crust on the tofu and to slightly soften the carrots. Happens in minutes. Once the tofu and carrots are finished, toss everything together, and enjoy.