Good morning friends and followers and stumblers.
It’s Autumn here in the Northern Hemisphere and for the fans of horticulture and vegetables and gardening and cooking, that means squash and pumpkin season. They are not commonplace in supermarkets in Ireland yet (the eating variety) but I think that will start to change soon. The first time I saw the eating variety of squashes and pumpkins was only Autumn 2014! I had moved to England and started work in a health food shop that sold all sorts of organic veggies. For me, it was amazing. There were acorn squashes and gem squashes and green ones and pumpkins and all sorts. But there are farmer’s markets all over Ireland now with local growers selling their pride and joy.
My local growers are Ballyholey Farm Shop and they introduced me to a type of squash I didn’t even see over in England (and they had lots of squashes). It was a spaghetti squash! It looks normal on the outside, and even when you cut it in half, but when you roast it, and scrape away the flesh with a fork, it comes away in spaghetti-like strands! It’s really unusual. So I took on the challenge of trying to find something nice to make with it and got inspiration from a dish I spotted on loveandlemons.com. I made my own version though and made it heartier and garlickier and gave it an injection of Italian flavour with butter beans, sundried tomatoes, pine nuts and garlic.
This was really delicious and warming and so easy to make as you really only need the one pot! When I made it I just got all my ingredients ready in little containers and that made it really easy to keep the place tidy and clean. I just threw them into the pot as they were needed and then threw the containers into the dishwasher! So efficient 🙂
PS. I had very garlicky rainbow chard on the side and I would highly recommend you to as well! So tasty!
Hearty Italian One-Pot Spaghetti Squash
Makes: 2 decent sized bowls
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour (more or less)
- 1 spaghetti squash
- 2 packed cups of kale (2 big handfuls)
- 30g pine nuts
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 2 shallots (you can use one onion if that’s all you have)
- 1 can of butter beans
- 4-5 sundried tomatoes
- 1 small sprig of fresh rosemary
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1/2 lemon
- Black pepper
- 1 tbsp milled hemp seeds
- 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
- Cut the squash lengthwise and scoop out the seeds and pulp. Put a garlic clove into the hollow of each half and add some black pepper. Place them on a baking sheet and on a baking tray (or not…) and put into the oven at 220 degrees celsius.
- In the meantime, while the squash is roasting, prepare the rest of the ingredients.
- Drain and rinse the butter beans and leave to one side.
- Strip the spindles off the rosemary and finely chop them until you have about half a tablespoon of minced rosemary.
- Juice the half lemon.
- Toast the pine nuts on a dry pan, shaking them every so often and making sure not to burn.
- If your sun dried tomatoes came in a jar full of oily brine, squeeze the living bejesus out of them with kitchen paper to get all the oil out. We do not want oil. Then slice them into nice strips.
- Wash the kale and remove the hard stems. Then chop it up roughly.
- Finely slice the shallots.
- When your squash is nearly roasted (say after about 30-40 minutes) get a skillet or big frying pan on a medium heat and add a tsp of white wine vinegar and some water. Sauté the shallots until soft and then throw in the rosemary, paprika and black pepper. If the white wine vinegar dries up and the shallots start to stick, just add more of either the white wine vinegar, or water. Just make sure the pan is moist at all times.
- Then add in the butter beans and toss with the mixture until they start to brown.
- Then add the kale and the lemon juice and toss everything together.
- Your squash will probably be ready by now so take it out of the oven. When I did this there was a pool of liquid in the hollow of both squash halves. I think this could have been from the garlic as it wasn’t fully dried out. I used this liquid to moisten the pan instead of water. Get rid of it anyway and squeeze the garlic out of its skin and into the squash. Then use a fork to scrape the garlicky squash out of it’s skin (when it cools!). My squash didn’t come out as intact as I had hoped, but, I think that is because of the liquid that seeped out of the garlic. It made it slightly mushy. Add the squash flesh to your skillet/pan and toss with the rest of the ingredients.
- Add in the sun dried tomatoes and keep stirring.
- Once everything is incorporated and looking lovely and hearty and wholesome, add to some bowls.
- Sprinkle the pine nuts, milled hemp seeds, and nutritional yeast on top for added nutrition and flavour.
- You could also squeeze some lemon over the top.
- I served mine with some wilted rainbow chard that I cooked with white wine vinegar and minced garlic – it was so garlicky and was an excellent side dish to the squash. I’d highly recommend doing this.