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!