What’s even better than spaghetti with red sauce? My gluten-free Spaghetti Squash with Roasted Tomato & Red Chili Arrabiata, of course!
Spaghetti squash is nature’s bowl of pasta! Swap out high-carbohydrate, nutrient-poor grain pasta for low-carb, nutrient-rich all-natural spaghetti squash for a healthy, gluten-free pasta meal! Spaghetti squash, like other winter squashes, are low in calories and carbs. They’re a great source of dietary fiber, anti-oxidants, minerals and vitamins, especially vitamins A, B and C, zinc, copper, calcium, phosphorus.
Spaghetti squash is the perfect gluten-free pasta alternative for those with a gluten intolerance, or for people who are following a grain-free or low-carb diet. There are a hundred and one ways to cook spaghetti squash, but I prefer to serve it up with a delicious tomato sauce. My Roasted Tomato & Red Chili Arrabiata features a blend of Mexican and Italian flavors. Dried New Mexican chili and fresh cilantro bring the flavors from down South, while fresh tomatoes, olive oil, oregano and finely minced garlic remind me of Italy.
If you’ve never cooked a spaghetti squash before, don’t panic! It’s so easy! Just poke the outside of the squash a few times with a fork, and then toss the whole squash in the oven. Bake for 45 minutes to an hour, until the squash feels soft to the touch. Once the squash is cool enough to handle with oven mitts, cut the squash in half. Scoop out and discard any seeds. Just be careful not to scoop out too much of those spaghetti-like strands! That’s the good stuff! Loosen up those squash strands using a fork and scoop them into a warm serving bowl.
The Roasted Tomato & Red Chili Arrabiata sounds fancy, but it’s nothin’ to be afraid of. If you want to tone down (or ratchet up!) the spice level, feel free to adjust the amount of dried New Mexican chili and garlic.
- 1 Medium Spaghetti Squash, (approx. 1 1/2 – 2 lb)
- 2 tbsp Minced Shallots
- 2 tsp Butter
Roasted Tomato & Red Chile Arrabiata Sauce:
- 2 lb Tomatoes, firm and ripe
- 1 Lg Dried New Mexican Chili (1 1/2 Oz)
- 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
- 2 Garlic Cloves, chopped fine
- 1 tsp Brown Sugar
- 1 tsp Dried Oregano
- 1 ½ tbsp Cilantro, chopped
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Pierce spaghetti squash in several places with a fork. Place whole on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until squash gives when pressed. Turn over after 30 minutes.
- Cut the squash in half, and scoop out and discard any seeds. Loosen the squash strands using a fork and scoop them into a warm serving bowl.
- In a small non-stick skillet, sauté the shallots in butter over low heat until wilted, approximately 4 minutes.
- Pour over spaghetti strands and toss lightly. Serve topped with Roasted Tomato & Red Chili Arrabiata Sauce.
For the Roasted Tomato & Red Chile Arrabiata Sauce:
- Preheat oven to 500F.
- With a fork, pierce the tomatoes near their stem ends. Place them in a baking pan lined with aluminum foil.
- Place the chili in a separate foil-lined pan. Put both pans in the oven. Roast the chili until it turns evenly dark brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove it from the oven and set it aside.
- Continue roasting the tomatoes until their skins are evenly blackened, about 45 minutes.
- With your hands, split open the chili and remove the stem and seeds. Break the flesh and skin into a food processor fitted with the metal blade. Pulse the machine on and off several times until the chili is finely chopped.
- Add the tomatoes to the processor, including their skins and any juices that have collected in the pan.
- Pulse the machine until the tomatoes are chopped to a coarse puree. In a large saucepan or skillet, heat the oil with the garlic over moderate heat. When the garlic begins to brown, add the tomato-chili mixture and stir in the sugar and olive oregano.
- Simmer until thick but still slightly liquid, about 5 minutes. Stir in the cilantro and serve over your cooked spaghetti squash. Bon Appetit!