I am a picky pasta eater. I love fresh fettucine and appreciate boxed pasta for its convenience, but a quick pasta dinner is a rare occasion in my house. (With the pace of school, homemade pasta nights are sadly becoming rare, as well.) I got an 8-box package of whole wheat pastas from Costco a year ago and am just now a box away from finishing it. My single guy friends are always shocked by this fun fact, since buttered pasta is a staple for them. Now to make things even crazier, I am picky about my pasta shapes. The only long noodle I like is fettucine! Angel hair and spaghetti are too thin and don’t hold the sauce well enough for my taste, and the sauce is the whole reason I eat pasta!
Good thing spaghetti squash is nothing like spaghetti. Sure it looks like noodles, and you definitely can use it as a vessel for delicious sauces, but this is in a whole different category. Call me crazy, but I would say that I like spaghetti squash even better than pasta! The squash noodles are easy to eat, and you can eat a whole lot of them without feeling guilty. Plus, there is more creative license with the type of sauce you can make, which makes me excited to get into the kitchen!
To make spaghetti squash, slice it in half, seed it, season it, and roast it. Emily has a great guide that I followed, sprinkling a little cumin on as well since I was making a black bean sauce. After letting cool, the squash scrapes out in noodle form. It is so much fun to see the transformation from big, solid squash to thin, delicate noodles! To top my cumin roasted squash, I made a black bean sauce inspired by an idea from my mom. I threw together garlic, red onion, green pepper, tomato and black beans and let that cook while I was scraping out the squash. I topped all of that with a bit of avocado and some chili powder and was in vegan dinner heaven. Now, I am a girl who loves cheese, so I don’t say this lightly… but this is so good with the avocado that it doesn’t even need cheese! I am as shocked saying that as some of my friends are reading it.
Moral of the story: spaghetti is okay, but spaghetti squash is better. So try this out while it is in season and cheap, and be creative with the sauce you come up with!
Question: What is your favorite sauce, whether for pasta or spaghetti squash? (or both!)
Black Beans and Squash
1 spaghetti squash, roasted according to these instructions
1 tbsp olive oil
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1 small red onion, chopped
1 small green pepper, chopped
1 tomato (add more tomato for a more liquid/tomato based sauce), diced
1 cup black beans
1 tsp cumin
dash chili powder
salt and pepper to taste
In a skillet, saute the onion and garlic in olive oil until the onion is soft. Add the green peppers and cook until softened. Add the tomatoes and season with cumin. Reduce the heat and allow to simmer for 10 minutes. Serve warm over a bowl of spaghetti squash noodles. Top each bowl with 1/4 diced avocado (follow my mango cubing instructions for easy avocado pieces!) and a dash of chili powder. Enjoy your veggie filled “spaghetti” night!