RA-Friendly Comfort Food: Spaghetti Squash Pesto Bakeby Emil DeAndreis Patient Advocate
During the fall and winter months, produce departments and farmer’s markets everywhere are featuring lopsided pumpkins and squash in search of homes. But what do you do with these unique seasonal veggies? Recently, I came home from my local market with a spaghetti squash. I was interested in it not only because it was in season, but because I knew it was rich in antioxidants, such as vitamins C and A, as well as fatty acids, which are all good things in the fight against my symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). I ended up making a comfort dish worth sharing.
I will admit, while the stringy quality of the spaghetti squash looks like pasta, it does not taste like it. However, it does a really nice job assuming the flavors of the ingredients with it, allowing them to interact and fuse nicely, much like the cauliflower does in my RA-friendly Sriracha Pineapple Cauliflower Fried Rice. The squash also has a pleasant crunch.
1 medium spaghetti squash
2 sausages, sliced (I used Andouille because it was what I had, but Italian would be fine.)
½ cup kalamata olives, chopped
½ cup sun dried tomatoes in oil
¼ cup fresh basil basil, chopped
½ cup pesto sauce
1 can tomato sauce
¼ cup mushrooms, chopped
¼ cup cherry tomatoes, halved
½ red onion, minced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
¼ cup red wine (for cooking)
Salt (to taste)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Fill a baking dish with one inch of water. Slice spaghetti squash in half, remove seeds from center and place face down in water. Bake spaghetti squash for 30 minutes, or until soft enough to easily stick fork through the flesh.
While spaghetti squash is cooking, sauté mushrooms, sausage, cherry tomatoes, onion, garlic in olive oil, and red wine (I recommend sautéing in that order to prevent burning). Cook until wine is cooked into ingredients.
When squash is done, shred with a fork into spaghetti-like strands. Be careful; it’s hot!
Place all the shredded squash in a strainer. Strain out as much of the water as possible.
In a bowl, add shredded spaghetti squash, sautéed ingredients, olives, pesto, sundried tomatoes, and tomato sauce.
Mix all ingredients until combined, salt to taste, and place in a greased glass baking dish.
Bake at 400 for 20-25 minutes until the top starts to brown.
Put it on a plate, sprinkle fresh basil on top. (I also recommend red chili flakes for a kick!)
Serve and enjoy!