Monday, October 25, 2010

Spaghetti Squash with a Red Clam Sauce

Spaghetti Squash is awesome food. It contains many nutrients, including folic acid, potassium, vitamin A, and beta carotene and it is very low in calories with only 42 calories per 1-cup serving. It is a great substitute for pasta because it is all natural, gluten free and holds up to heavy sauces well. Spaghetti Squash is also very easy to cook and prepare. I saw some really nice little neck clams (the really small ones) and I haven't had a clam sauce in ages. This takes about 1 hour to cook, feeds two and costs about $15.

Spaghetti Squash

1 medium spaghetti squash

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Use a large kitchen knife to cut the squash in half, lengthwise. Use a large spoon to scoop out the seeds and soft center. Cover a large cookie sheet with aluminum foil, spray a bit of olive oil and place the squash cut side down. Bake to 45 minutes or until the squash is tender to the touch. Let it cool for at least five minutes. Run a fork from top to bottom and the flesh will come out stringy like pieces of spaghetti, its pretty amazing.

Simple Red Clam Sauce

2 oz olive oil
1/2 organic vidalia onion, diced
5 medium cloves of garlic, chopped
1 red finger hot chili pepper, chopped
1 28oz can of San Marzano whole peeled tomatoes, blended
2 dozen little neck clams
1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh marjoram, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
salt and pepper

Start a large sauce pot on medium low. Add oil, onions, hot pepper and garlic and let cook for 10 minutes or until softened. Puree the canned tomatoes in a blender or food processor and add to the onions and garlic. Let that cook on low for 30 minutes, taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Start a second deep sauté pan on medium high. Add 1/2 a cup of the tomato sauce and the 1/4 cup of water. Then add the clams and cover. Let that cook for 4 minutes, stir a few times. Uncover and toss in the fresh chopped herbs and crushed pepper. Stir, cover and cook for 3 more minutes. Uncover, throw away any unopened clams. Remove clams and let that sauce reduce for a few minutes.

Scoop out the spaghetti squash and top it with some of the tomato sauce. Put the clams around the spaghetti squash and then spoon the remaining sauce from the clams around the plate. This second sauce is key. Serve the dish with some garlic bread to soak up the remaining sauce. The little necks were perfectly cooked and gave a great flavor to the dish. The spaghetti squash tasted great along with the San Marzano tomato sauce. I pay the extra $3 for them because they are quality and you get a lot of great sauce for only a few extra bucks. Defiantly worth it in my opinion. Buon Apetito!

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