Spaghetti Squash with Arugula Pesto

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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.

Spaghetti Squash with Arugula Pesto

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!

Spaghetti Squash with Arugula Pesto

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.

Spaghetti Squash with Arugula Pesto

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 50 minutes

Yield: 3 to 4 servings

Spaghetti Squash with Arugula Pesto

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

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.

http://www.rotinrice.com/2013/02/spaghetti-squash-with-arugula-pesto/


Spaghetti Squash with Arugula Pesto

Enjoy…..and have a wonderful day! 8-)



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21 Responses

  1. Very healthy yet so flavourful!
    Happy Chinese New Year, Biren.

  2. Ramona says:

    My husband recently had spaghetti squash while out to dinner with his mother and could not stop praising it. I must make some spaghetti squash soon and this is a great idea using pesto to dress it. :) Have a wonderful weekend. ~ Ramona

    • Biren says:

      Spaghetti squash is my favorite squash for the season. I find it very light yet satisfying and delicious as a salad. You should give it a try. :)

  3. Nasifriet says:

    This is a simple and lovely dish, Biren. I didn’t know the salad is called arugula. We called it rucola or rocquette over here. I love the peppery taste of this salad. Infact I’ve made the pesto several times, but with pine nuts :-)
    BTW, I have never tried the spaghetti squash. Infact I have not seen these sold in our local supermarkets. Maybe I should be more alert the next time…

    I wish you and your family a healthy, wealthy and succesful Chinese New Year! Gong Xi Fa Cai!

    • Biren says:

      Thanks Nasifriet! Yes, arugula is also known as rocquette or rocket. I love it. Spaghetti squash looks more like a melon than a squash. You should give it a try. :)

      Wishing you and your family a very Happy and Healthy New Year!

  4. I know I would LOVE this, as arugula is probably my favourite salad green and it’s wonderful with parmesan. I have seen spaghetti squash many times at the supermarket but to be honest, was always a little put off by the stringy appearance of the squash flesh! I can’t imagine why I would feel that way though as I love squash in general. I guess we all have our silly little food prejudices? ;) Your photos are drop dead delicious and the one with the little bowl of pesto in the middle foreground is absolutely stunning!

    • Biren says:

      You should give spaghetti squash a try. It is really mild tasting and reminds me of fuzzy or hairy melon except that it is sweeter and firmer in texture.

      Thanks for the compliments. I am glad the pictures turned out well. :)

  5. Haruna says:

    YUM, YUM! :)

  6. mjskit says:

    What a delicious looking dish! I love spaghetti squash but I haven’t cooked one up in ages. That needs to change! Love the simple arugula pesto on top!!

  7. marla says:

    Love this recipe! Will be linking back to this in my upcoming post :)

  8. pam says:

    Thank you, I love your recipes!!

  9. Ginny says:

    I just bought a load of walnuts! Do you think the recipe would work with these instead of almonds? Nuts are so expensive…

    Thanks!

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