Spaghetti Squash with Garden Ragu

I really like using squash in my dishes, but the time it takes to roast them in the oven can become really tedious.  Today for example, I was famished and had a hankering for something with tomato sauce.  What I saw in my head was something like this:

…and I really wanted to make it happen.  I knew that I had a spaghetti squash that I wanted to use, but the thought of waiting 60 minutes to roast it and eat was too much to bear.  So, I decided that I would microwave it and get the show on the road.  I’m not a big microwaver, but after the success I had with using it today, I think it has become my go-to method of cooking squash!

My first step was to cut the squash in half length-wise and seed it.  I cut a small section off of the bottom of one of the halves, to make it a little more steady in the baking dish.   I wanted to be able to cook both halves of the squash at the same time in the microwave, and this led me to the idea of filling the inside of the bottom half with water and placing the other piece on top – to let both parts steam at the same time without taking up tons of room.

A little taken off the bottom makes it more stable!

I placed the half that I had cut the slice off of in a 8 x 8 pyrex dish and poured some water into the bottom of the dish.  I filled the squash with water, some olive oil, and salt and pepper.  I put the top piece back on, and sealed the whole dish with plastic wrap.  Then into the microwave it went for 10 minutes.  I tested it then by feeling how soft it was (with an oven mitt on!), and I decided to let it go another 2 minutes.  After that I let it sit in the microwave while I worked on the Garden Sauce.

A little water, olive oil, salt and pepper inside the bottom layer

After it had cooled for a while, it was time to make the cool strands of squash break free!  I held onto it with my oven mitt and used a fork to shred the inside of the squash into a large bowl.  I added some salt and pepper, and a bit of olive oil, and it was perfect.  Just the right texture, neither mushy or too undercooked.  I loved that it was done in 12 minutes and all I had to do was add the sauce!  There will be more spaghetti squash in my future.

Save those hands by using an oven mitt to hold the squash while you shred it!

Top this squash with my Garden Ragu, and you’re in business!

Garden Ragu Sauce

1/2 red onion, sliced into thin strips
6-7 baby portabella mushrooms, sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 bunch of spinach, roughly chopped
3 cups of your favorite pasta sauce
1/2 c water or stock, to thin sauce
salt and pepper
oregano, red pepper flakes, and Spike seasoning, to taste
2 Tb olive oil
parmesan cheese (optional)

For the Sauce:

Saute the onions and mushrooms in the live oil on medium high until the mushrooms begin to give off their liquid, then add the spinach.  If there is too much spinach for your pan, just add half and then wait for it to wilt to add the second half.  Add your herbs and seasonings.  After it is all wilted, add the garlic and saute for a minute or two.

Add the pasta sauce and the water (if needed to thin the sauce out) and let everything come together for a few minutes.

Add parmesan cheese if desired, and this great sauce is ready to top anything you can think of – especially spaghetti squash!

I hope you love this as much as I do…it was so great to be able to make this using things I had on hand in the fridge and in under 30 minutes!

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