This is the recipe that turned me—a self-professed disliker of spaghetti squash—into a fan. Most of the credit goes to the slightly spicy, garlicky white bean and tomato ragout, but the squash really is a perfect counterpart, offering sweetness and softness to the dish. —Gena Hamshaw
For the squash
large whole spaghetti squash
kosher salt and pepper
For the white bean ragout
1 1/2 tablespoons
white or yellow onion, diced
cloves garlic, minced
salt (more to taste)
crushed red pepper
(14 1/2-ounce) can fire-roasted, diced tomatoes
(8-ounce) can tomato sauce
1 1/2 cups
cooked cannellini, navy, or Great Northern beans (or 1 can white beans, drained and rinsed)
organic sugar, or 2 teaspoons maple syrup
chopped fresh parsley, for serving (optional)
In This Recipe
To prepare the squash, preheat your oven to 375° F. Use a sharp knife to trim the top and bottom of the squash off, so that it can stand upright on a cutting board. Slice the squash in half lengthwise. Scrape out the seeds with a large spoon.
Line a baking sheet with parchment or foil. Brush the inside of the squash with the olive oil and sprinkle with kosher or coarse salt and pepper to taste. Place the squash, cut side down, on the baking sheet. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until the squash skin is tender enough to pierce easily with a fork. Allow the squash to cool down enough to handle, and then use a fork to scrape out the flesh into a mixing bowl. Taste the squash and add more salt, pepper, and garlic powder to taste.
While the squash roasts, make the ragout. Heat the olive oil in a medium pot over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté for 5 to 7 minutes, stirring often, until the onion is soft and translucent. Add the garlic. Sauté the onion and garlic for another 2 minutes, adding a splash of water if the onions are sticking. Add the thyme, oregano, salt, pepper, tomatoes, tomato sauce, beans, and sugar to the pot and stir them well. Bring the mixture to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Simmer for 10 minutes, uncovered, or until the sauce has thickened up. Taste sauce and add seasonings as desired.
To serve, place a quarter of the squash into each bowl or plate and top with a cup of the ragout, as well as a bit of chopped parsley.
Gena Hamshaw is a certified nutritionist, recipe developer, and food blogger. She shares her latest culinary adventures at The Full Helping. She's the author of two cookbooks, Food52 Vegan (2015) and Choosing Raw (2014). She enjoys yoga, sweet potatoes, cashews, and things that are smothered in sauce.