Thinking Outside of the Squash: Spanish Style Spaghetti Squash
A popular way to make spaghetti squash is to serve it with tomato sauce or bake it in a fashion similar to lasagna. Well, I think it’s time to think outside of the squash. I’ve been hanging onto a recipe for Fideos Rossejat for a few years. Fideos Rossejat is a paella-style dish that’s made with fried fideos (broken spaghetti). The original recipe has chicken and chorizo and I’ve also seen versions that include lobster. Besides the fact that chicken,chorizo and lobster are a thing of the past for me, I also didn’t like the idea that the fideos are fried in oil. Well, I guess there are too many aspects of this recipe that don’t fit in with my way of cooking that it didn’t make sense to salvage it. However, there is one aspect that is worth saving — the sofrito. Sofrito is a sauce used as a cooking base in Spanish cuisine consisting of garlic, onion, paprika and tomatoes cooked in olive oil. For this recipe I left out the oil and added a charred red pepper to give it another layer of flavor. I baked the squash with fresh garlic and stirred together the sofrito while the squash was in the oven. The squash “noodles” were then added to the skillet. You can serve the squash at this point, or you can place it in the oven to crisp it up a bit. Many of the Spanish restaurants we used to go to would serve thick slices of fried potatoes as a side dish, so I served the squash with some not-so-fried potato slices. It seems like you can get spaghetti squash year round in any grocery store the US, but now this is the time of the year to pick them up from a local farm stand or farmers market. It’s also time to think outside of the squash. Thanks for being Vegi-curious.
Spanish Style Spaghetti Squash
1 spaghetti squash, cut in half lengthwise & seeds removed
3 to 4 garlic cloves, pressed
Olive oil (optional)
1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
14 oz. can diced tomatoes
1 Tablespoon tomato paste
Pinch of saffron
½ cup dry white wine
Preheat oven to 350F. Place squash cut side up on rimmed baking sheet. If using oil, lightly coat the cut side of the squash with oil. Rub surface with garlic. Place in oven and bake until the squash is tender and shreds when scraped with a fork.(This could take about 1-1/2 hours.)
While the squash is baking, prepare the sofrito. Lightly coat a deep skillet with olive oil and heat over high heat. Add preppers and cook until beginning to char. Add onions and continue to cook until the onions turn golden brown, stirring often. Stir in the garlic and cook another minute. Add tomatoes, paste and saffron and continue to cook until the tomatoes turn dark red. Add the wine and cook until it is almost completely evaporated.
Using a fork, scrape out the contents of the squash. Add to skillet and toss until the sofrito is well distributed. Optional: Cover the skillet, place in oven and bake until it begins to brown around the edges. Remove from oven and serve.
Not-So-Fried Potato Slices
Slice potatoes 1/4″ thick. Lightly coat a non-stick electric griddle with olive oil (about 1/2 teaspoon) and set it to the highest setting. Place potatoes on griddle in a single layer and cook until they are browned on both sides. This takes a long time, so be patient. If you don’t have concerns about using oil, you can pan fry them in a deep skillet with about 1″ of vegetable or peanut oil.