Saturday, January 16, 2010

Green Pea Pesto Spaghetti Squash

Isn't that basil beautiful .  I found it at my local Albertsons.  I've never seen such large basil leaves.

The amount of basil in the package was a nice amount too.  I packed a 1/2 cup full and still had a little left over.  It wasn't cheap though, so I may end up growing a nice, large  plant inside near a sunny window.

Usually the store has plenty of parsley and other herbs, but not basil so this was a treat to find such a large amount for this new recipe I wanted to try.

A member of Dr. posts new recipes each week and  the spaghetti squash  was one I've wanted to try for a while.  I made it last night and WOW.  It's a new favorite.  :-)

It's also the first time I've ever tried to cook this particular squash and I really loved it so much that I think I'll look for some other recipes for this new favorite vegetable.

I had so much fun cooking this squash.  I was experiencing a sense of exploration and discovery.  hee hee  I almost thought that I might have chosen a dud because I cooked it for the amount of time it said and when I tried to remove the insides, there was no spaghetti.  So I cooked it for a little longer and when I tried a second time I had strands.  :-)

What I noticed is that there was a difference in the skin when it was ready.  When you prick the outside and place it in the microwave, the outside is hard and unyielding.  But afterwards, when it's been cooked for the proper amount of time, the outside becomes pliable and soft.  But watch out because it's extremely hot.  I used a pot holder to hold it while I scooped out all the spaghetti.

 The recipe called for a medium size squash, but I just got whatever they had at Albertson's.  They all looked pretty uniform to me, so I didn't know if I had a small, medium or large one.  :-)

 After I finished scooping out all of the spaghetti strands from it's shell, (I had a blast doing that) I had quite a volume of the stuff.

But some of the  squash is blended with the pesto sauce, so I didn't worry about it.  I figured it would work out fine even if there was more than the recipe called for.

The author of the recipe used a 1/2 cup of chopped tomatoes, but I noticed one of the other members used a can of tomatoes, so that's what I did too.  For one thing I didn't have but 1 tomato and for another, it didn't seem like that small amount would be enough tomato for the pile of squash I had. 

The pesto is so easy to make.  I used my food processor thinking it would be quicker and easier to clean, but next time I'll try using my vitamix and see which way I like better.  The vitamix will puree it smoother and creamier, but the processor is so much easier to remove the creamed mixture than the vitamix would have been.

The pesto called for green peas, some of the spaghetti squash, basil and pine nuts.  I didn't have any so I used walnuts instead.  I love pine nuts so the next time around I'll make sure I have some on hand.

Once the sauce is blended, you spread it on top and bake the dish at 350 for about 30 minutes.

I let it cool while I my dh and I ate supper.  Afterward, I sliced and plated a serving.  I just wanted to try a small amount because I was already satisfied with the huge salad I'd just eaten.  But once I ate that first piece, I just had to have another.  :-)

I've tried many different recipes while doing E2L, and this was one of the more simple and easy ones.  That's probably one of the reasons I enjoyed making it so much.  :-)

I'm asking the author if I can post the recipe here in case there is anyone who would like to try it.  It's a winner!

So ............. eat to live everyone!

Holly (Hojo) at Dr. Fuhrman's membership website gave me permission to post her recipe, so here it is.  Many thanks to her.

Green Pea Pesto Spaghetti Squash

    4 main dish servings, 6 side dish servings

1 medium spaghetti squash
1/2 cup tomatoes (I used a can of tomatoes)
2 tsp oregano
1/2 cup frozen green peas
4 cloves garlic
1/2 cup fresh or frozen basil
1 1/2 - 2 oz. pinenuts (I used walnuts)

Cook spaghetti squash by preferred method. I like to pierce it several times and microwave for 4 minutes, then cut it in half & scoop out the seeds, put the halves face down on a dinner plate & microwave for another 8 minutes or so, until soft.

Once cooked, remove strands from one half of squash and add to a lightly sprayed 6x9 rectangular baking dish (or similar size) along with a little squash from the 2nd half. Stir in tomatoes and oregano.

In a high powered blender add the green peas, garlic, basil, pinenuts and the remaining squash. Blend until smooth & creamy.

Spread pesto across the top of the spaghetti squash and place in preheated oven. Bake at 350* for 30 minutes, until pesto seems to have firmed up some.

Delicious!  :-)


Anonymous said...

Hi Laina--that sounds wonderful. Where is the link to the recipe? Thanx, Sandi

Laina said...

Hi, Sandi. I got permission to post the recipe. I hope you enjoy it. :)

Anonymous said...

Hello and thanks you for posting such an interesting recipe! I hope to try it soon, with split green peas instead of frozen whole green peas. I'll let you know how it turns out.

Laina said...

Sounds like a great idea, Gemstonejar. I'd love to hear back from you, and hope it turns out well.