Spaghetti Squash with Pumpkin Seed Pesto

Now that the time has come where I can’t even venture to my mailbox without a huge winter coat, scarf, boots, and gloves, I have found myself craving some of my favorite comforting, carb-loaded dishes.  But seeing that I would have to rename this blog to A Bigger Bite if I wanted to include these beloved recipes, I decided to craft a lighter version of one of my all-time favorite meals.

Ever since I can remember, a heaping plate of pasta topped with pesto has been my go-to indulgence.  (Just see Dinner with Grandma to find out why…) So since spaghetti squash seems to be the new trend this fall, my roommate and I decided to join the band wagon and indulge, while still adding our own flare to the meal.  I bring you…

Caprese Spaghetti Squash with Pumpkin Seed Pesto

INGREDIENTS:
Spaghetti Squash:
  • 1 Spaghetti Squash
  • 1 Tomato, chopped
  • 6 Oz Fresh Mozzarella (omit for vegan alternative)
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
Pesto:
  • 1/2 C raw pumpkin seeds
  • 1 handful of fresh basil
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • Pinch of sea salt
INSTRUCTIONS:
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  2. Lightly grease pan
  3. Cut spaghetti squash in half and scoop out the seeds (You can save them to roast later!)
  4. Place squash face down on pan and cook 30-45 min, until soft
  5. Put all ingredients for pesto in food processor and pulse until smooth, pesto consistency
  6. Let squash cool enough to touch, and then scoop out “spaghetti” with a fork
  7. Toss with mozzarella, tomato, and salt and pepper
  8. Top with pesto and voila!

*Serves 2

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Dinner with Grandma

After hearing of the passing of my Grandma this morning, I was sad that my family could not be together in North Carolina to have the proper memorial that she deserves. So I talked with my parents, and we all agreed that we should each do something small today to commemorate and celebrate her.

When I think of my Grandma, I think of flower gardens, crossword puzzles, and food. Surrounding her house in the mountains of North Carolina, were rows and rows of flowers, every color of the rainbow, that she would tirelessly but joyfully tend to. She also did crossword puzzles every morning. Crossword puzzles that I would try to help with, but ultimately fail miserably when I didn’t know the six-letter 1930s best-selling novelist or the nine-letter, 3 word meaning of certain latin term. But most importantly, my Grandma was one of the best cooks, bakers, and peanut-brittlers that I had ever known. Whether she was making homemade biscuits or danish teacakes, I would always follow her around in the kitchen as she worked away. And it is in the kitchen where I remember her the most.

Every time my family and I would take the 9 hour drive down to my grandparents house, there would always be a pasta dinner waiting for us. Now I have had my fair share of pasta, but for some reason, my Grandma’s pasta topped all the rest. The pasta in the pot seemed to be unlimited, as I scarfed down bowl after bowl, topped with her famous homemade pesto. Because of these pasta dinners, which were probably one of the only things that allowed me to get through the never ending car rides down there, my mom and I decided to make a pesto pasta dinner tonight…….. with a twist.

Zucchini Pesto Pasta:

  • 2 zucchinis sliced into thin, pasta-looking strips
  • Sea Salt
  • Pesto (my mom makes hers with some kind of mixture of parmesan, walnuts, olive oil, basil, and maybe a few others)

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And there you have it. No cooking of the zucchini required, simply mix with salt and it turns flimsy and noodle-like.

Pasta with pesto – who knew such an ordinary thing could fittingly celebrate such a incredible life.