Roasted Spaghetti Squash with Romesco Sauce

Dreaming of our trip to Barcelona, that was this month a year ago, I tried combining two of my favorites:  spanish romesco sauce with just-picked spaghetti squash from our garden.  Nutty, tangy, rich and warm, with a wonderful crunch from the squash, I literally had to make myself put the mixing spoon in the dishwasher so I would stop eating and have enough to photograph.

Romesco is a very traditional spanish sauce originating in Catalonia.  It is incredibly rich and creamy, thanks to pulverized toasted almonds and hazelnuts included to thicken the sauce, that also provide an extra dose of protein.  As with most ages-old, traditional dishes, the recipe varies from cook to cook, including this cook, and is a reflection of how they view it most balanced.  In addition to using it here with spaghetti squash, it is incredible with grilled fish and vegetables, as well as a dip, or spread on sandwiches.  It is a great way to use up those few remaining, not-exactly-pretty, tomatoes and peppers looking for a home at the markets right now.

Roasted Spaghetti Squash with Romesco Sauce

by Catie Schwalb

Serves 6-8 as a side dish.

1 spaghetti squash, 8-12" long, free from major blemishes or soft spots

For the romesco sauce: (Makes about three cups)
4 large cloves of garlic, with skin on
3 roma tomatoes, sliced in half lengthwise
1 thick slice rustic white bread
2/3 cup blanched almonds
1/2 cup hazelnuts
2 red peppers, skin charred and removed (see below), roughly chopped
3 tablespoons sherry vinegar
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon sweet smoked paprika (pimenton ahumado dulce.  La Chinata is my favorite, which I carried home in my suitcase)
1/2 teaspoon salt

Heat the oven to 375 F.

On a baking sheet in separate areas, place the bread, almonds, hazelnuts, garlic cloves with their skin on, and tomatoes, cut side up.  Place in the 375 degree oven.  After five minutes, turn the bread over and gently toss the nuts.  After another five minutes, remove the bread and the nuts.

Continue to roast tomatoes and garlic for another twenty minutes, for thirty minutes total.

Cube toasted bread, and place in a bowl to soak with the sherry vinegar.

Bundle the hazelnuts in a kitchen towel and rub vigorously to remove the skins.  Set aside with the almonds.

Cut the spaghetti squash in half lengthwise.  Scoop out the seeds and stringy flesh surrounding the seeds.  Rub the inside of each half with olive oil and place, cut side down, on a baking sheet.  Set aside.

To remove the skin from the red peppers:  On a grill, the flame of a gas stove, or under the broiler, thoroughly char the skin of each pepper, turning frequently as needed, until black and blistered all over.  Transfer the pepper to a bowl covered with a kitchen towel, or a paper bag, and allow to steam for ten minutes.  The charred skin should then rub off easily, rinsing briefly under running water if needed.  Remove core and seeds and roughly chop.  Set aside.

When roasted for thirty minutes total, remove tomatoes and garlic from the oven.  Place the spaghetti squash in the oven and roast for 35-40 minutes, until skin of the squash slightly gives when pressed with your finger.

In a food processor, (mortar and pestle, or Vitaprep for a super silky sauce), combine toasted almonds and hazelnuts, bread soaked with vinegar, tomatoes, roasted garlic with skin removed, roasted red peppers, paprika, and salt.  Blend until as smooth as possible.  With the machine running, slowly stream in the olive oil until all incorporated.

Serve spaghetti squash warm topped with romesco sauce.  Garnish with chopped fresh parsley or additional chopped toasted nuts, if desired.



One response to “Roasted Spaghetti Squash with Romesco Sauce”

  1. I love romesco sauce, what a good idea to serve with spaghetti squash.

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Catie Baumer Schwalb is a chef, food writer and photographer, who splits her life between the city and the country. Not too long ago Catie was a New York City based actress and playwright for more than a decade. She has her Master of Fine Arts from the National Theater Conservatory, and her Grand Diplôme in classic culinary arts from the French Culinary Institute in New York City. ... Read More

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