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by Sarah Steimer

It fills you up but doesn't give you that post-pasta coma. We had our spaghetti squash with some honey whole wheat bread from Loafers.

  • one spaghetti squash (should have an even, pale color with no bruises or green and feel heavier than it looks)
  • vodka sauce
  • olive oil
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 shallots, minced
  • 1 cup vodka
  • 1 cup chicken stock

    The squash has a great color.

  • 1 can crushed tomatoes (32 ounces)
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 20 leaves fresh basil, shredded or torn

Cut the squash in half, length-wise, and remove the seeds. Lay the halves in a cooking dish with the flat side down, skinfacing up. Sprinkle olive oil, salt and pepper over top. Cook in a 375 degree oven for 40-45 minutes. You should be able to easily insert a knife into the squash when it’s ready.

Allow the squash to cool enough to be handled, then take a fork and separate the strands from the skin — you should be able to go all the way to that skin, forkin’ it clean.

For the sauce, heat a large skillet over moderate heat. Add oil, butter, garlic, and shallots. Gently saute shallots for three to five minutes to develop their sweetness. Add vodka to the pan. Reduce vodka by half, this will take two or three minutes. Add chicken stock, tomatoes. Bring sauce to a bubble and reduce heat to simmer. Season with salt and pepper. Stir cream into sauce. When sauce returns to a bubble, remove it from heat and add the basil. Serve over the squash.*

Need more reasons to go for spaghetti squash instead of regular spaghetti? For starters, I picked it up at the farmer’s market for only a dollar and it fed three adults and with plenty of leftovers. Winter squash also has lots of carotene, which may help fight against some cancers. And it may help you avoid heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

Squash recipe: Fake Ginger

Vodka sauce recipe: Rachel Ray

Photos: Sarah Steimer

*I’ll admit I haven’t tried this vodka sauce recipe, it’s from my sister and I’ll take her word for it. I just used sauce from a jar that night. And for the record, neither of us are Rachel Ray fans.

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