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Author Notes: This was our dinner last night. It’s basically vegetables on top of vegetables on top of vegetables with a healthy sprinkle of cheese on top. It’s so filling and yet so free of guilt, which came as quite a relief after a cheat day on Saturday that involved margaritas, chips, espinaca and shrimp fajitas (all of which were glorious). —Shea
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup dry red wine
- 2 28 oz. cans crushed or diced tomatoes
- 2 handfuls fresh basil, chopped
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon raw sugar
- salt + pepper to taste
- 1 spaghetti squash
- 1 eggplant, sliced into 1-inch pieces
- 1 pint crimini mushrooms, sliced
- 2 tablespoons parmigiano reggiano (optional)
- In a heavy saucepan over medium heat, add olive oil and diced onion. Cook until softened, about 2 minutes. Add garlic and cook for another minute, stirring frequently. Add red wine and cook for another 5 minutes. Add crushed tomatoes, basil, bay leaves, raw sugar (this helps cut the acidity) and salt and pepper. Once the sauce begins to simmer, reduce heat to low and allow to simmer for an hour or more.
- Meanwhile, line baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray with cooking spray (I like Trader Joe’s olive oil spray). Cut the spaghetti squash lengthwise (note: this may seem impossible, but keep working at it and don’t cut yourself). Use a large spoon to scrape out the “guts” and place cut side-down on the baking sheet.
- Next, slice the eggplant into 1-inch pieces and place in a colander in the sink. Sprinkle with sea salt and give it all a toss to make sure the eggplant is evenly coated. Let sit for 15-20 minutes to draw out moisture and reduce bitterness. While the eggplant is doing it’s thing, slice the mushrooms. Line a second baking sheet with foil, spray with cooking spray and add both the mushrooms and eggplant. Give the whole thing another spray of olive oil spray and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Place on the squash on the lower rack in the oven and the eggplant and mushrooms on the top rack. Bake for 45-50 minutes, giving the eggplant and mushrooms the occasional stir.
- Once cooked, let the squash cool to the point where you can touch the skin and use a fork to shred the squash into “spaghetti.” Plate the squash and top with the eggplant, mushrooms, marinara and cheese. Assuming you don’t cover the entire thing in parmigiano reggiano, one plate of deliciousness should set you back 250-300 calories. Which means you can totally justify a glass of Pinot.