Sunday, September 2, 2012

Spaghetti Squash Magic:Spaghetti Squash with pesto and shrimp

Oh, Spaghetti Squash, how do I love thee.  This is one of the vegetables that I had never used before this summer, so I did my new favorite thing.  I grew some.  They didn't do well, thanks to the darn squash bugs, but I did get one good one, and that got me hooked.  What could be better than a vegetable that masquerades as pasta?!

So ever since my plant died, I've been hunting them down at the farmer's market and experimenting with them.  Last night's dinner was definitely my favorite.  In fact, it was so good that I turned down cheesesteaks with my friends because I couldn't wait to make it again tonight!  Here is what you will need.  (Keep in mind, this fed me, but one good sized squash would feed 2 people, I used mine for both last night and tonight.)

1 good sized spaghetti squash (like 8-10 inches long)-this will feed 2, or 1 person for 2 days of this
2 TBSP(ish) of pesto (I had some in the fridge so I used that, along with some fresh basil and lemon basil from my garden, but you could make your own)
2 TBSP fresh chopped basil or lemon basil
1 TBSP olive oil
5-6 baby heirloom tomatoes or cherry tomatoes per person-cut in half
Juice from half a lemon
5-6 shrimp per person (I used uncooked frozen ones from Trader Joes, because they are quick and easy)
3-4 TBSP grated parmesan cheese
A big pinch of shredded mozzarella cheese
2 TSP raw pine nuts
salt and pepper 

Start by pre-heating your oven to 375 and poke some holes in your squash with a knife or a skewer, so it doesn't explode.  Roast it on a sheet pan for an hour.  Once you take it out, let it cool for about 10 minutes, then cut it in half, scoop out the seeds and shred the squash with a fork to get all of it out.  I wish I had taken a picture of this, but since I roasted yesterday and I didn't know I'd be blogging, it didn't happen.  Sorry.  It's cool looking, though!  Just like spaghetti!

Ok, now get a big saute pan over medium heat with a little olive oil.  Once it's warm, toss in your shrimp.  If they are frozen, like mine were, stand back because the little bit of ice on them will make the oil pop.  Ouch! I season mine with a little salt and pepper. Let those cook a little on each side, maybe a minute each before you throw the squash in the pan.  After the squash, add the pesto and toss it all together.  Give it a minute or two, then add the lemon juice, fresh basil, the cheese, and last the tomatoes.  While this is all coming together and the cheese is melting in (YUM), dry saute the pine nuts in a little pan or I use my smallest sauce pan over medium low heat until they are just a little golden brown.  

I then put it all in a bowl, add a little extra parmesan cheese, and top with the pine nuts.  It is fresh, light, and smooth, but the pine nuts add some awesome crunchy texture.  Serve with some good crusty bread and enjoy!  

I won't always do this, but from my calculations, this runs about 470 calories per serving (not with the bread).  Not bad!

I made this again with a squash from my garden and with arugula pesto instead!  Here are a few pictures, and if you want to try it, just replace the basil with arugula (mine was from my garden as well) and then I also added peas.


  1. Yum! That looks really good, and great job on the photo, very pretty;)

    1. Thanks very much, E! That means a lot coming from you :)

  2. A masterpiece! That photo is worthy of a cookbook and I WANT some of that! And I spend a lot of time squishing squash bugs. Darn things!

    1. Thank you so much! If this is who I think it is, than that sure is quite a compliment :)