This Spaghetti Squash with Roasted Tomatoes and Mushroom recipe is a simple, gluten-free dish packed with vibrant, fall flavors and unique textures. It was inspired by a pasta dish I tasted in Rome.
In the Roman pasta dish, they roast plum tomatoes with extra virgin oil, garlic, and herbs which slowly intensifies their flavor by reducing the moisture content and caramelizing the juices without drying them out completely. The result is a soft, intensely flavored tomato that can be used in any pasta dish. I did the same thing but my version swaps spaghetti squash for pasta. Yay, healthy, gluten-free and yummy!In this Spaghetti Squash with Roasted Tomatoes dish, I also saute mushrooms with olives to provide a salty, earthy contrast to the sweet tomatoes and squash.
Roasted pine nuts add a crunchy texture and buttery taste. Pine nuts are a potent appetite suppressor. Why? They’re a good source of a polyunsaturated fat known as pinolenic acid and high in protein. Not really nuts, they’re actually seeds that come from pine combs.
Sometimes spaghetti squash turns out watery and mushy, not that good. I find roasting it cut side up helps reduce the moisture. It takes a little longer but you get an al dente texture. If the squash collects water as it roasts, pour it out to get a nice grain-free pasta alternative. It’s done as soon as you can pierce it with a fork. Don’t let it overcook.
If your spaghetti squash is hard to cut, pop the whole squash into the oven for 15 minutes to soften it a little.
Cook the squash and tomatoes in the oven at the same time. Start with the squash and it will be done by the time you turn up the heat to caramelize the tomatoes. Put the pine nuts into the oven to roast for 5 minutes, making the most of your oven.
Here in New York, it’s been a really warm fall and there are still local tomatoes in the farmers market. They are super sweet. If you can, try and make this Spaghetti Squash with Roasted Tomatoes before the local tomatoes go away. But even if you buy plum tomatoes from the supermarket it’s fabulous.
- 1 small spaghetti squash, about 3 pounds
- 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 6 small plum tomatoes
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 ½ teaspoons fresh rosemary leaves, divided
- 1 ½ tablespoons fresh thyme leaves, divided
- 1 shallot, thinly sliced
- 10 ounces baby bella mushrooms, stems removed, sliced
- ½ teaspoon Celtic sea salt
- black pepper
- Pinch of red pepper flakes if desired
- ¼ cup Kalamata olives, pitted and sliced
- ½ cup toasted pine nuts
- a handful of fresh basil, thinly sliced or fresh parsley, chopped
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Cut the squash in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds and pulp from the middle. (If your squash is difficult to cut, roast it whole for the first 15 minutes until it softens a bit, then cut and continue).
- Place the squash on a baking sheet cut side up. Rub the inside with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Roast for about 1 hour or until the flesh is tender and you can scrape the noodle-like strands away from the skin with a fork. Don’t overcook you want the squash strands to be al dente.
- Remove squash from the oven, let it cool slightly and use a fork to scrape the squash into strands. Set aside.
- While the squash is cooking prepare and roast the tomatoes.
- Position a rack in the middle of the oven. Stem the tomatoes and slice them in half lengthwise. Use your fingers or a spoon to scoop out the seeds.
- Lay the tomatoes, cut side up, in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Drizzle with 3 tablespoons olive oil and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon thyme, 1 teaspoon rosemary, and garlic. Roast for 40 minutes. By this time the squash should be done.
- Increase the oven temperature to 400 degrees and roast the tomatoes until caramelized, about 20 minutes more.
- While the squash and tomatoes are roasting, put the pine nuts in a small sauté pan. Add to the oven and toast for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally until lightly brown.
- Turn off the oven and leave the tomatoes inside for 10 minutes, then proceed with recipe.
- In a large sauté pan, heat remaining 1 tablespoon of oil over medium heat.
- Add shallots, mushrooms, salt, pepper, ½ teaspoon rosemary, ½ tablespoon thyme and a pinch of red pepper flakes if desired.
- Cook, stirring occasionally until mushroom liquid completely evaporates and mushrooms are well-browned all over about 20 minutes.
- Add olives and stir.
- Cut roasted tomatoes into thirds horizontally. Add to mushrooms.
- Add cooked spaghetti squash and toss until squash is hot and vegetables are evenly distributed.
- Taste to adjust salt and pepper.
- Top with fresh basil and toasted pine nuts.
- Category: Paleo, Vegan, Gluten Free, Dairy Free
- Cuisine: Italian, Healthy
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