I think this is the longest break that I’ve had from posting since April! This past week has been filled with some crazy hours of work and a little bit of fun mixed in. It all started with working the merch tent at FYF Fest, where it was great seeing my friends and co-workers from my month working Coachella in Indio. The long, hot, dusty days in LA definitely took me back there.
After that, there was some hanging out and a quick stop at the beach with a friend before he returned to Texas. I hadn’t realized it, but before then, it had been over a year since I had been in the ocean. That doesn’t seem too crazy until you think about how I live 5 miles from the beach. O_O I think that I’m going to make it my mission to go to the beach more often and soak up some rays (tough, I know).
For the grand finale of the busy week, I assisted Fran Costigan and Kate Lewis, plus Fran’s amazing film crew, with the filming of the trailer for her newest cookbook, Vegan Chocolate: Unapologetically Luscious and Decadent Dairy-Free Desserts. It was an awesome experience, in which I learned a lot that I can use in the future, plus Fran’s desserts are phenomenal. But, after two 12-hour days, I was pooped.
As you can imagine, I was tired today, and needed to make something simple and definitely savory, after all that cake. I had a couple of spaghetti squashes from my Mom’s friend’s garden hanging out and knew that it would be a day for delicious pairing of marinara and squash.
To give it a little Oomph I roasted the tomatoes on my grill, and they smelled absolutely amazing. Because a lot of the ingredients are super fresh, the flavor of the sauce is so good! This dish makes for a great weeknight dinner and is good for using up all of those tomatoes leftover from Summer.
Simple Spaghetti Squash with Fire-Roasted Marinara
- 5 lb . Spaghetti Squash or Two 2.5 lb. Spaghetti Squashes
- 3 lbs . Ripe Tomatoes such as Roma, beefsteak or heirloom
- 1/4 C . Sun-Dried Tomatoes Julienne-cut
- 1 tsp . Olive Oil
- 3/4 C . White Onion Diced
- 2 Cloves Garlic Peeled and Minced
- 1 T . Fresh Basil Minced
- 1 tsp . Fresh Oregano Minced
- 1/2 tsp . Sea Salt or More to taste
- 1/4 tsp . Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
- Pinch of Black Pepper
Preheat your oven to 375ºF. Slice the squash in half, remove the stem, scoop out and discard the seeds.
Using a large casserole dish, place the squash halves cut-side down into the dish, and pierce several shallow holes into the squash skin with a fork. Then, fill the dish 1/4" high with water.
Bake for 35-50 minutes, depending on the thickness/size of your squash. Test to see if it's done by gentle poking the squash with a fork, if it is tender, it will move a bit and be slightly soft. This means it is ready.
While the squash is baking, turn on your grill, clean it and spray with a thin layer of cooking oil.
Cut the stems out of the tomatoes and grill them until they are charred on most sides. It is okay if they explode, but it's better to have them whole for the sake of taking them off of the grill.
Once the tomatoes are done roasting, place them on a plate and give them 5 minutes to cool slightly.
Get a medium sauce pan ready over medium heat, with the teaspoon of olive oil heating. Once the plate is hot enough to sizzle a water drop, add the onions and garlic to it.
Saute until the onions are clear.
Carefully peel the skins off of the tomatoes and place them into a blender with the sun-dried tomatoes. Puree until completely smooth, or if you like your marinara chunky pulse until you get your desired texture.
Pour the mixture into the sauce pan with the onions and heat to a simmer. Cook the mixture for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally so that it reduces and thickens.
Stir the basil, oregano, sea salt, red pepper and black pepper into the sauce. Lower the heat so that the mixture is at a low simmer. Cook for 5 minutes.
When the squash is done baking, take it out of the oven and let it cool for 10 minutes; it will be very hot.
Next, take a fork and scrape the squash into a colander. Once done, press the squash lightly to squeeze out some extra moisture.
For serving, use 1 1/2 C., give or take, of the squash and plate it with a large scoop of marinara on top. Use fresh, chiffonade cut basil as an optional garnish.
Enjoy your weekend, everyone!