Are you looking for a classic spaghetti squash dish to add to your fall recipe collection? I’ve got you covered! As October hits I become a little squash crazed and find myself using different varieties most weeks throughout the fall and winter- acorn, spaghetti, butternut, or kabocha, I love them all and think you should too.
My first foray into squash season this time is the versatile spaghetti squash. Coming back from Italy, with pasta on the brain, my most natural spaghetti pairing right now was with tomato sauce, so that’s where the inspiration for this later summer, early fall recipe comes in.
I took some short cuts by using jarred tomato sauce (plus good summer tomatoes are pretty much gone in the Northeast by now), and I used dried basil, but fresh leaves could certainly be added at the very end instead if you happen to have a fresh bunch. Roasting the squash takes the longest time, but the other ingredients can be prepped in mere minutes. And I find an Italian dish just isn’t authentic unless finishsed with cheese, but even that step can be flexible. I used grated parmesan, but you could easily top the stuffed squash boats with some broken pieces of mozzarella and slide under the broiler for a few minutes for melty perfection. When pulling it all together, I think it’s fun (and creates less dishes!) when served in the squash skin, but if not eating right away it stores nicely for a day or two in the fridge.
1 small spaghetti squash
2 cups tomato sauce- I used San Marzano Marinara, but I’m a big fan of Rao’s too
1 small yellow onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, diced
1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas
3 handfuls chopped kale leaves
1 tbsp dried basil
parmesan to finish
Heat oven to 400 degress. Prepare the squash by cutting it in half lengthwise. With a spoon, remove the seeds (which can be saved, cleaned, and roasted for a snack). Rub the inside of the squash with a thin layer of olive oil, then place cut side down so laying flat on a baking sheet. Place in oven and roast for 30-40 minutes until able to pierce the outside skin easily with a knife. Remove from oven, carefully flip over, and let cool for a few moments. When able to handle safely, use a fork to pull away at the flesh of the squash, creating spaghetti noodle-like strands. Set aside.
To a large, heated saute pan add olive oil to coat the bottom. Add in the onion and saute for a few minutes until it begins to soften, then add the garlic. Cook for 2-3 minutes.
Add the reserved cooked spaghetti squash to the pan, along with the kale, tomato sauce, dried basil, and chickpeas. Mix everything well and cook for about 5 minutes to let the kale soften and to bring all the flavors together.
To serve, use tongs to transfer the mixture to bowls, or back into the emptied squash skins for a fun presentation. Top with freshly grated parmesan to your heart’s content!