Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Spaghetti Squash with Creamy Avocado Garlic Sauce

As I was roaming around Trader Joe's this week wondering what else I "need" (at TJs I use this term very loosely), I came across a large pile of spaghetti squash selling for under $3 each. In your typical supermarket, squash is usually sold by the pound, usually making it cost more than I want to spend. So, needless to say, I was very excited by this discovery and just had to have one. I figured I'd come up with what I "needed" it for when I got home. And indeed I did.

I love treating spaghetti squash like regular pasta, and often eat it with tomato sauce and cheese. It's delicious, but I was getting tired of it and wanted to try something new. Ari already made a pumpkin sauce for pasta, so that was out of the running. I moved on to one of my favorite naturally creamy fruits - avocado! I have yet to meet someone who doesn't love this stuff. Turns out it goes perfectly with spaghetti squash and it's just as good as its tomato and pumpkin sauce peers.

This recipe is really simple, healthy, and delicious. We had it for dinner tonight, and Ari loved the avocado with the spaghetti squash, calling it the "perfect complement for the squash, much better than tomato sauce." I like my guacamole with some chunks, and so I decided to leave my sauce this way and mash the avocado by hand. Feel free to adapt this recipe and just put all the sauce ingredients in the blender for something much smoother.

I also found the chopped leeks add a nice mild onion-y flavor with a bit of crunch to what is otherwise very mushy, soft recipe. This recipe is very adaptable, so feel free to experiment. One variable I thought of but didn't try this time is roasting tomatoes and leeks or red onions with the squash in the oven for the last 20 minutes, and then chopping them and mixing them in during step 5.

One last thing I love about this recipe is that it is very filling because of the protein and fat in the avocado. Spaghetti squash in general can leave you feeling less than satisfied, but this dish works perfectly well as a main course because of how filling and satisfying it is.

If you try the suggested variation, or any other for that matter, please let us know how it goes in the comments - we'd love to hear about it!

Although it tastes delicious, the green sauce on the squash alone doesn't
look so appetizing, hence why I highly recommend garnishing before serving. 

Squash with Creamy Avocado Garlic Sauce

1 medium spaghetti squash
oil in a spray bottle or can
1 whole avocado
3/4-1 tbsp minced garlic (very to very very garlicky, your choice)
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp lemon juice
dash of salt
dash of pepper
1/2 cup leeks, plus some extra reserved for garnish, chopped (optional)
smoked paprika (optional)

Serves 2 for a main course and 4 as a side dish 
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. Cut the squash in half and scoop out the pits. Spray each half with oil and sprinkle on some salt and pepper. Put both halves on a baking sheet, skin-side up, covered in foil in the oven. Bake it on the top rack in the oven for about 50-60 minutes, until it is tender. Let is cool for 10-15 minutes. 
  3. Your roasted squash should approximately look like this.
  4. While the squash is cooling, cut open the avocado, chop it into pieces, and put it in a bowl.  Add the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper (to taste) to the avocado chunks. Use a fork or masher to mash the avocado until it's creamy with only some smaller chunks remaining. 
    All the sauce ingredients, right before mashing...
    1. ...and right after mashing.
    2. Scrape the inside of the squash with a fork to pull out the spaghetti strands and put them in a bowl. 
      Just in case you haven't worked with spaghetti squash before,
      this is the what the squash should look when you scrape it.
    3. Mix the avocado, leeks, and spaghetti squash together in a bowl 
    4. Garnish with the paprika and chopped leeks 
    The finished product, garnish and all.

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