I hope everyone had a nice weekend. The weather here in Los Angeles was warm and windy, but not so hot that it wasn’t great for cooking. Spring is only three weeks away, but I’m still hoping for some rain. It’s pretty dry around Los Angeles and in Santa Barbara county as well. The hillsides are barely green this year, and a little rain would change that situation for sure. I thought it would be nice to start our week off with a vegetarian meal, and this one is super easy, using a handful of pantry items and a winter squash.
Arrabiata is an Italian sauce prepared with tomatoes, onions, garlic and chili peppers. This sauce is mildly spicy and it is usually served over pasta, and sometimes shrimp or vegetables are added. Arrabiata is different than traditional marinara because of the chili flakes that really perk-up flavor, and it’s especially tasty tossed with spaghetti squash. I made this quick sauce by pureeing canned tomatoes cooked with herbs and spices, creating a zesty partner for this winter vegetable. The sauce clings to the golden strands, which are steamy hot after being cooked in the microwave for 20 minutes. The shreds of squash simply scrape away from the skin, but watch your fingers, and use some tongs for easier handling.
I like to serve this meal family-style as an entrée, but it can be eaten as a side dish too with a piece of seared fish or chicken. This Arrabbiata sauce is perfect for cooler weeknight evenings because the heat really warms your soul, and fills you up with all good stuff.
1 medium spaghetti squash
14.5 ounces fire roasted tomatoes
1 small white onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/3 cup parmesan cheese
1. Slice squash in half and remove seeds. Place in a microwave safe dish and add 1 cup water to bottom of bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and microwave on high for 20 minutes. Remove from microwave and drain water from bowl. Using a fork and tongs, scrape strands of squash from skin – discard skin.
2. In a saucepan over medium heat, add 2 teaspoons olive oil, diced onion and garlic. Cook for 3 minutes or until translucent. Add oregano, red pepper flakes and 1 teaspoon salt, stir. Pulse tomatoes in a food processor for 30 seconds.
3. Pour tomato sauce over onion mixture and stir. Turn heat to simmer and cover pan with lid. Cook sauce for 20 minutes. Remove lid and add cooked squash, toss to combine. Place in a serving platter and sprinkle with parmesan. Enjoy!