It’s that time of year when all the delicious squashes are in season and I’m loving it! Although, Gabe and I found that spaghetti squash was quite sparse at the farmers market this past weekend. When we did finally find some, the price was not labeled, and I somehow inadvertently negotiated the price down. I guess it’s true when people say you can actually bargain at the farmers market. We had also bought some eggplant because I wanted to try having some veggies that were more out of the norm. I usually stay away from eggplant, although I love the taste, I don’t have much experience cooking it, and something about salting it before you cook it seems like too much work most of the time. The idea for this dish just came to me when all we had left towards the end of the week were these two vegetables. I thought it would be delicious to roast the spaghetti squash, add some home-made marinara sauce, with chunks of roasted eggplant, kalamata olives, and top with cheese and roast in the oven. Boy was it yummy! A nice mix a comforting flavors and yummy veggies.
Eggplant Marinara Stuffed Spaghetti Squash
Prep time: 1 hour
Cook time: 45 minutes
Total time: 1 hour and 45 minutes
Yield: 2 servings
2 small spaghetti squash
salt and pepper
1/2 cup freshly shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup freshly shredded parmesan cheese
1 small eggplant, peeled and cubed
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 shallot, minced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 28 ounce can whole peeled San Marzano tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
7 kalamata olives, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Rinse and dry squash. Cut both ends of squash, then cut the squash in half, lengthwise. Scoop out seeds. Drizzle with olive oil and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Place face down on a baking sheet, and roast in the oven for 45 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool for safe handling.
Meanwhile, place cubed eggplant in a colander and sprinkle generously with kosher salt. Allow to sit for 30-60 minutes to allow the eggplant to sweat out bitterness. Once finished, rinse well and pat dry. After the squash is done roasting, change the oven temperature to 425 degrees, drizzle eggplant cubes with olive oil and roast on baking sheet for 35 minutes (check after 10 minutes, and toss the eggplant cubes).
While the eggplant is roasting in the oven, begin the marinara sauce. Heat olive oil over medium-high heat, add shallots and cook until translucent, add garlic and saute for another 30 seconds. Reduce to low heat, add tomatoes, salt, sugar, and pepper flakes. Break up the tomatoes with a wooden spoon. Next, add roasted eggplant cubes. Simmer sauce on low for 25 minutes. Finally, add olives and basil.
Change the oven temperature to 350 degrees. Once the squash had cooled enough to handle, scrape the insides of the squash to release the strings. Then, evenly distribute the marinara sauce among the squash, top with both cheeses and place in the oven for 12 minutes to warm everything through. For the last two minutes, turn oven temperature up to BROIL so that cheese slightly browns. Remove from oven, plate and enjoy immediately!