My parents got me hooked on Food Network Star last season, so naturally I am DVRing it again this year. My favorite POV this season is Nikki Dinki’s “Meat on the Side.” Although I don’t eat a wide variety of vegetables, I am trying to broaden my horizons…you know, baby steps. I have always wondered what Spaghetti Squash tasted like, but really had no idea how to prepare it. Hearing Nikki talk about her You Tube cooking videos intrigued me to check them out. I watched her video for Vegetarian Spaghetti Squash and thought it sounded too good not to try to make some. Knowing my husband wouldn’t be keen on the sauce she made with nutmeg, etc I decided to make a vodka cream sauce instead. I used Robert Irvine’s Drunken Penne Pasta from foodnetwork.com as a guide for my vodka cream sauce, substituting olive oil for grapeseed oil, chicken broth for chicken stock, adding a tiny bit more vodka and omitting the prosciutto; I also added a fresh tomato for additional flavor. Enjoy!
Ingredients (Spaghetti Squash):
1 Spaghetti Squash
1 TBSP Olive Oil
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
Ingredients (Vodka Cream Sauce):
1 TBSP Olive Oil
1/4 Cup Red Onion, Chopped
3 Cloves Garlic, Minced
1/3 Cup Vodka
1 – 8oz Can Tomato Sauce
1/2 Cup Heavy Whipping Cream
1/2 Cup Reduced-Sodium Chicken Broth
1 Roma Tomato, Diced
Instructions (Spaghetti Squash):
Preheat oven to 375
Cut spaghetti squash in half, length wise, then scoop out and discard all loose stringy flesh and seeds.
Place spaghetti squash halves flesh side up on a baking pan. Drizzle 1/2 TBSP olive oil, 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper over each half. Flip spaghetti squash over so the flesh is against the baking pan.
Bake 40 to 50 minutes or until a fork can be effortlessly inserted into the flesh of the spaghetti squash. Let cool.
Using a fork, scrape out the flesh of the spaghetti squash using long strides, starting at the top of the squash and ending at the bottom, so long strings “spaghetti” type strands separate from the skin of the squash.
Instructions (Vodka Cream Sauce):
While the spaghetti squash is cooking, mince the garlic, chop the onion and dice the tomato; set aside in separate containers.
Heat olive oil in saucepan over medium heat. Stir in onions and garlic and cook until onions are translucent (about 5 minutes).
Pour vodka into pan and let the alcohol cook off for a minute or two.
Add tomato sauce, cream and chicken broth; stirring well to combine. Cook about 5 minutes, then turn to low and let simmer until spaghetti squash is cooked. While the spaghetti squash is cooling, add diced tomato to sauce and cook over medium-low heat to keep the sauce warm.
After spaghetti squash has been separated from the skin, place in saucepan with vodka cream sauce and mix well.
Yields 4 – 11 oz Servings
Weight Watchers: 1 serving = 11 points plus
** NOTE: The size of the spaghetti squash changes the servings; I used 3.80 lb. spaghetti squash for this recipe. **