"I think using animals for food is an ethical thing to do, but we've got to do it right. We've got to give those animals a decent life and we've got to give them a painless death. We owe the animal respect."
My coworkers and I share a small refrigerator in the hallway that adjoins our offices. It’s a handy place for us to store our lunches because we’re often too busy (or lazy) to walk the two flights stairs to the main kitchen in our office building. One morning a few weeks ago we all noticed a delicious garlicky aroma coming from the refrigerator every time it was opened. By mid morning I had to satisfy my curiosity to figure out who’s lunch was smelling so good and what exactly it was. As it turns out, a colleague of mine had made a Weight Watchers recipe for spaghetti squash tossed with fresh tomatoes, garlic, and basil. It looked and smelled so delicious that it inspired me to come up with this very similar recipe prepared just a bit differently and flavored with rosemary instead of basil.
It’s not that I have anything against basil, in fact I love it. However, so often is basil paired with tomatoes that I think we sometimes forget that other herbs can also make for an excellent accompaniment as well. One of my favorite summertime go-to recipes is a fresh tomato bruschetta that is flavored with nothing but fresh rosemary, garlic, salt, pepper, and olive oil. By borrowing these same great flavors from my bruschetta recipe and combining them with the spaghetti squash, I was able to capture the essence and freshness of the bruschetta while avoiding the calories from the bread.
with FRESH TOMATOES and ROSEMARY
2 medium or 3 small spaghetti squash
coarse kosher salt
2-3 pounds tomatoes*, seeds removed, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary (or more to taste)
1 clove garlic, coarsely chopped
¼ teaspoon dried pepper flakes
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil (or up to ¼ cup if you don’t mind the calories)
freshly grated parmigiano reggiano cheese
*I used the last of my heirloom tomatoes from my garden, but I think fresh plum tomatoes would world well also.
Preheat oven 450 degrees.
Carefully slice each spaghetti squash in half lengthwise. Use a spoon to scoop out the seeds, discard. Place squashes cut side down on an aluminum foil lined baking sheet. Bake for 30-45 minutes, until they can be easily pierced with a pairing knife. Remove from oven and allow to cool to room temperature. Using a fork, scrape the strands of squash from the inside of the skin. Season with ½ teaspoon of coarse sea salt. (Recipe up to this point can be prepared a day in advance. Store refrigerated overnight. When ready to use, microwave the squash for a couple minutes to bring it back to room temperature.)
In a food processor combine 1 cup of the chopped tomatoes, the rosemary, garlic, red pepper flakes, ½ teaspoon salt, and olive oil. Puree until smooth.
In a large bowl combine the spaghetti squash, chopped tomatoes, and tomato puree. Taste and add additional salt to taste. Serve warm or at room temperature with a sprinkle of freshly grated parmigiano reggiano cheese.