Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Here is a green dish that does not involve corned beef, cabbage, or anything Irish for that matter. But hey, it’s still green! Eat this and you won’t get pinched!
There’s a saying in my house, “once you start cooking spaghetti squash, ya don’t look back.”
Alright, so I completely made that up. Totally BS. But still, if there WERE a saying in my house, it might be that one. Who knew that you could create spaghetti from a squash? The first time I tried it I felt like how jesus must have felt when he turned water into wine. If only I could turn squash into wine….hmm…more pondering shall be done on that later.
This is great news for all my gluten-free people, but even you gluttonous gluten-devourers (you know who you are…and I’m looking in the mirror with a guilty look on my face and a feeling of shame) can appreciate this recipe. It’s simple and so delicious. Honestly, the most difficult part is getting the stupid squash open. Normally for me this requires hacking the thing in half with a large knife while whoever is within a 20 foot radius of me gasps in horror and prays for my safety. It can be difficult as spaghetti squashes are rather large and pretty thick, but with several swift stabs and a nice set of muscles on your arms (just kidding, if I can do it, you can do it!) it can be pried open in a few minutes.
Most pesto recipes use parmesan cheese, but the vegan part of this recipe comes from the fact that the cheese is replaced by nutritional yeast. Don’t be scared by the name! I promise it is not vegan alien food. It hails from the earth and it’s delicious. It’s packed with vitamin B, zinc, folic acid, selenium, and even protein! It packs a punch of flavor that most describe as cheesy and nutty…many people actually put it on their popcorn. I absolutely LOVE cooking with this stuff, it’s sold as a powder and you can find it in the bulk section of your grocery store. Now, where were we? Ah, yes, spaghetti. Spaghetti with pesto. Yessssss, of course. Luck of the Irish…er….Italian..
Pesto Spaghetti Squash
- 1 spaghetti squash (large yellow & oval)
- 8 T olive oil
- 3 cups fresh basil, loosely packed
- 2-3 garlic cloves
- 6 T pine nuts or walnuts
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
- Start by cooking up that beast of a squash. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees
- Split the spaghetti squash in half with a large, slightly terrifying knife. Scrape out the seeds and place each half, cut side up, on a baking dish. Drizzle each half’s inside flesh with 2 T olive oil and a shake of salt and pepper. Cook for 30-50 minutes depending on the size of the squash, just keep checking periodically. They are done when you can easily pierce the inside and drag a fork through the yellow part creating spaghetti-like strands all the way down to the rind.
- When it’s ready, fork out as much of the spaghetti strands as you can into a bowl and set aside.
- To make the pesto, put the nuts, basil, 1 tsp of salt, and garlic into a food processor until finely ground.
- Add remaining 6 T of olive oil to the pesto, then the nutritional yeast, and process until smooth and creamy.
- Combine ‘spaghetti’ and pesto sauce. If you fancy a lot of sauce, I would double the sauce recipe 😉 Noms.
Because it’s St. Patty’s, you should totally jam out to some Irish music while you’re gettin down to bidness. Here’s an acoustic version of a Dropkick Murphys song. Cheers!