So the other night I saw a recipe for a pizza with arugula pesto and butternut squash and walnuts. And you can read all about why I didn’t make that in the post Recipe Improv: How to Let a Recipe Inspire and not Enslave You. That’s how you can find out about this dandy spaghetti squash arugula dish to come.

Here’s how I made it. First off, spaghetti squash always seems like a great idea—until I cook it. Truthfully, those delicate, angel hair-like strands tend to end up kinda soggy. They definitely don’t absorb sauce the way pasta does.

My way of dealing with this is to cut the squash down the center vertically. Next, I remove all the seeds and then oil and salt the sides. Finally, I place them flat side down on a parchment lined baking sheet. I roast them at 375º for about 45 minutes.

Astute readers will note, “Hey! That squash is cut horizontally AND vertically.” Yep. I decided to follow this advice when I cooked half the squash the other night. The point was to get longer strands, and…well, it wasn’t worth the hassle to me, but I include the link in case you want to try it and have better luck. On this night, I halved the already halved squash and baked as noted above.

spaghetti squash arugula, step one: roast and shred squash

But as you can see, even pulling the fork through the strands gave me kinda clumpy “noodles.” I had to go into my Zen “this will take a couple of minutes” mode, and play with the noodles with my hands a little to separate them. Then a little more salt to draw out the water, and back into a higher degree oven (400º) to dry them out a little.

spaghetti squash arugula, step two: separate strands

The rest was easy. I had some garlic oil I had made a night earlier by gently simmering very thinly sliced garlic in olive oil for about 10 minutes. Steve had picked up some beautiful arugula that I absolutely did not want to crush into a pesto. (Also, I felt way too lazy to deal with cleaning the food processor.) Fresh cherry tomatoes, roasted walnuts, Parmesan, fresh pepper: really, this couldn’t have been easier. And thus, arugula butternut squash pizza became spaghetti squash arugula.

Spaghetti Squash Arugula, the finished version

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Spaghetti Squash with Arugula, Walnuts, and Cherry Tomatoes
A simple, quick, and easily adaptable vegetarian meal.
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Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 15 minutes
Passive Time 50 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 15 minutes
Passive Time 50 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
Votes: 0
Rating: 0
You:
Rate this recipe!
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 375º. Halve the squash vertically, saving other half for another use. Scoop out the seeds. Rub the cut surface with a small amount of olive oil and sprinkle lightly with salt if desired. Roast squash cut side down on a parchment covered baking sheet approximately 35-45 minutes, until it gives but does not collapse when squeezed. Be sure to use an oven mitt to squeeze!
  2. Place walnuts on a separate parchment lined baking sheet or small foil tray. Roast in the oven for 10 minutes, then remove. Place butter in a small bowl and pour the walnuts on top. Sprinkle with small amount of salt if desired. Stir the walnuts occasionally to coat with melted butter.
  3. While squash roasts, bring remaining oil to a gentle simmer over medium heat. Add sliced garlic. Continue to simmer for 10 minutes, then turn off heat.
  4. When squash is finished, remove from oven; increase oven heat to 400º. Run a fork through the flesh to create strands. Place strands on baking sheet, let cool for 5 minutes, then carefully separate them more with your fingers or a fork. Sprinkle lightly with salt, and place in oven an additional 10 minutes to dry out.
  5. Remove squash from oven. Chop arugula and halve cherry tomatoes. Toss squash with garlic oil, arugula, and cherry tomatoes, and top with shredded Parmesan and walnuts.
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