Spaghetti Squash with Lemon-Herb Gremolata and Creamy Ricotta
This meal has a light and delicate flavor but if your kids aren’t into sophisticated food, you can always top theirs with tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese. Gremolata is an Italian condiment that combines lemon zest, garlic, and fresh herbs, so this version is a bit of a twist on the classic. Making it with just parsley would give it a more traditional flavor. “This is very easy to make, economical, and delicious - fresh and bright flavors,” according to recipe tester Anne O’Neill.
- 3 lbs. spaghetti squash (1 large or 2 small)
- 1 lemon
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 - 4 cloves garlic minced, about 1 - 2 tsp.
- 1/2 cup fresh flat leaf parsley or use a combination of any fresh herbs, such as oregano, sage, basil, mint, and rosemary
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. black pepper
- 1/3 cup pine nuts lightly toasted
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 6 oz. ricotta cheese
- Pierce the squash several times with a metal skewer or the tip of a sharp knife. Put it on a microwave-safe dish, cover it with a damp cloth towel, and cook it for 15 – 20 minutes on full power in the microwave, rotating and checking it after 10 minutes and then every 5 minutes, until it collapses or you can easily press in the skin with your thumb. (Alternatively, bake the squash whole at 400 degrees for 45 – 60 minutes or put it in the slow cooker with a cup of water on low for 8 - 10 hours.)
- Meanwhile, using a vegetable peeler, peel 8 strips of lemon rind (try to use just the yellow part), finely chop the rind and juice the lemon.
- In a medium bowl, combine the lemon rind and juice, oil, garlic, parsley, salt, and pepper.
- Wearing oven mitts, halve the squash lengthwise, remove the seeds, and scrape the flesh into a serving bowl, using a fork to separate the strands.
- Pour the lemon-olive oil mixture over the spaghetti squash, top it with the pine nuts, and serve it immediately, topping each serving with Parmesan cheese and a spoonful of ricotta.
Instant Pot Directions
- Pierce the spaghetti squash several times. Place 1 cup of water in the Inner Pot and add a rack or steamer basket. Place the whole squash on the rack or in the basket. (If the squash is too big to fit, cut it in half, remove the seeds, then stack the halves on top of each other.) Pressure cook on HIGH for 10 minutes and use Quick Pressure Release. While the squash is cooking, prepare the sauce as directed above and then continue with the remainder of the recipe once the squash is cooked. (Click here for Instant Pot tips and a list of Scramble recipes that have IP conversions.)
Do Ahead or Delegate: Cook the squash, then halve, seed, and shred the flesh, peel the lemon and chop the rind, juice the lemon, peel the garlic, chop the fresh herbs, prepare the lemon-olive oil mixture, toast the pine nuts, grate the Parmesan cheese if necessary and refrigerate. Scramble Flavor Booster: Top the squash with lemon-pepper seasoning and/or crushed red pepper flakes. Tip: Pre-cook the squash earlier in the day if you are home so dinner will come together in just 10 or 15 minutes. Nutritional Information Per Serving (% based upon daily values): Calories 412, Total Fat: 30g, 47%; Saturated Fat: 8g, 37%; Cholesterol: 28mg, 9%; Sodium: 485mg, 20%; Total Carbohydrate: 30g, 10%; Dietary Fiber: 9g, 33.5%; Sugar: 12g; Protein: 12g Like this recipe? Check out The Scramble's family-friendly meal plans to see just how simple getting dinner on the table can be!
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