Spaghetti Squash with Fresh Basil and Shaved Pecorino
By Stephanie Wharton
1 spaghetti squash
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
½ pound shiitake mushrooms, stems removed and sliced
6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 pound heirloom grape tomatoes, kept whole or halved
2 big handfuls baby spinach leaves
1 large shallot, sliced
1 big handful fresh basil leaves
Shaved Pecorino (or grated Parmesan)
Salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Cut the spaghetti squash in half and remove all the seeds. Drizzle with the olive oil and rub in with your fingers to ensure all parts of the squash are covered in oil. Season generously with salt and pepper. Arrange, cut side up, on the baking sheet and bake for 45min -1 hour. Time will depend on size of squash. Check doneness by inserting your fork into the flesh. If you can start to create “spaghetti strands” with the fork, it’s done. You can make the spaghetti squash ahead of time as it will need to cool to room temperature before handling.
Once squash is cool enough to handle, use a fork to pull crosswise to make small portions that resemble spaghetti strands. Either place the strands into a serving bowl to use right away with the remaining recipe or refrigerate if not using until a later time.
Heat the remaining olive oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and cook until soft and carmelized, about 5 minutes.
Add the garlic and shallot and cook until fragrant. Then add the tomatoes and salt and pepper. Cook the tomatoes until they lose their shape and start to “pop”.
Stir in the spinach and cook until wilted.
If the squash is still warmed through from the oven, add the tomato sauce mixture to the squash bowl and combine. If the squash has cooled, add it to the saute pan to warm through first before placing back into the serving bowl. Mixing the squash and sauce mixture at this point is fine to do.
Once in the bowl, add your fresh basil, shaved pecorino, and additional salt and pepper, if desired. Enjoy!