Spaghetti Squash with Arugula Pesto
Spaghetti squash is my favorite squash of the season. I really enjoy the vegetable-like strands of flesh that resemble spaghetti, hence its name. This squash is a nutritious low-calorie and gluten-free substitute for pasta. It works well with most sauces. I made an Asian inspired dish with it the last time – Stir-Fry Spaghetti Squash with Shrimps, and so I decided on a more Western approach this time.
Organic baby arugula was on a buy-one-get-one-free sale while I was at the store purchasing the squash. I placed a couple of bags in my cart. I had seen several recipes on the internet using arugula for pesto and was curious about the taste. Since pine nuts are really costly, I decided to use sliced almonds instead. I also picked up a bag of shredded parmesan cheese and a lemon. Extra virgin olive oil is something I always have in my pantry. I had all the ingredients and was excited to get home to put this Spaghetti Squash with Arugula Pesto dish together.
The pesto was slightly bitter but not overly so. I think using baby arugula helped. The bitterness was also tempered by the almonds and parmesan cheese. In fact, I thought it went really well with the lightly flavored spaghetti squash. I enjoyed the dish and so did Ro-Ri San and Ro-Jiro. It was light and delicious, perfect for lunch. The lemon juice gave it a nice zing!
I did not think it was necessary to toast the sliced almonds so that the pesto remained buttery. Please go ahead and toast it if you prefer.
- 1 spaghetti squash (about 3 lbs/1.4 kgs)
- 3 tbsp lemon juice
- Salt and freshly grated pepper
- 3 cups packed (4 oz/115g) baby arugula plus a little extra for garnishing
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled
- ¼ cup (25g) sliced almonds plus a little extra for garnishing
- ¼ cup (28g) shredded parmesan cheese
- ¼ tsp salt
- ½ cup (120ml) extra virgin olive oil
Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C).
Split the spaghetti squash in half lengthwise. Scoop out seeds. Place on a baking dish with cut side down and bake for 40 to 50 minutes.
Remove spaghetti squash from oven. When cool enough to handle, use a fork to gently scrape around the edge of the squash to shred the pulp into strands.
Toss strands of spaghetti squash with lemon juice, salt, and freshly grated pepper.
Combine arugula, garlic, almonds, parmesan cheese, and salt in a food processor. Give it a few pulses. With machine running, gradually add olive oil through the feed tube of food processor. Process until smooth.
To serve, toss flavored spaghetti squash with desired amount of pesto. Garnish with extra arugula and sliced almonds.
Enjoy…..and have a wonderful day!