Spaghetti squash has built itself quite the little reputation as a pasta substitute in the low carb world.

While spaghetti squash might be one of the coolest vegetables out there {what else is round and then magically turns into strings?}, it’s certainly no carb substitute in my mind.

1. I’m a fan of carbs. Carbs are good, not evil. Eat them.

2. A plateful of squash just doesn’t cut it for me.

Also, I prefer zucchini as a pasta substitute if you insist on going that route, not spaghetti squash. It’s not as fun, but it tastes better.

So I’m not a fan of swapping spaghetti squash for actual spaghetti- but I’m a huge fan of using it to bulk up a big plate of pasta by mixing it with whole grain spaghetti.

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Perfect Spaghetti Squash

Pop the whole thing in the oven, as is, and roast away at 375 for an hour, or until a knife easily pierces the skin. You can also cut it in half and roast it for half the time, but getting the knife through the squash calls for some serious man power- microwaving it for a few minutes helps soften it enough to cut, but I think it’s easier to throw it in the oven and just let it do it’s thing.}

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When it’s done roasting, let it cool for awhile- let me tell you how good burning steam feels coming out of freshly baked squash feels. {Not good. Have patience.}

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Cut the squash in half lengthwise and scrap out the seeds and inner squash-y guts. When you get the light yellow part, use a fork to scrap out the squash and watch magic happen: spaghetti-like strands!

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While it’s not hard to prepare, spaghetti squash does take a little bit of time to get ready, which makes it the perfect time to make a slower cooking sauce, like Bolognese. Or my preference, lentil Bolognese.

 

Lentil Bolognese

Bolognese is traditionally a meat sauce, but what I love about it is how hardy and thick it is- easy to replicate in a vegetarian Bolognese with lentils or even veggie crumbles.

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Start with the traditional Bolognese base of onion, carrots and celery and let it simmer away while you pull out your squash strands.

Add in some tomato, spices, extra liquid and lentils, and simmer until the lentils are cooked- no soaking, pre-cooking, or separate pots here.

As your sauce boils and toils and fills your kitchen with mouthwatering smells, cook some whole grain spaghetti- I like to use a thin spaghetti or angel hair to mimic the size of the spaghetti squash strands.

Lentil Bolognese

Lentil Bolognese

Ingredients

  • 2 medium carrots, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 1 white onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 28oz can whole tomatoes, unsalted
  • 1 cup dry lentils
  • 1 cup water or vegetable broth
  • Spices: Italian seasoning, oregano, basil, fennel seed, pepper, red pepper flakes

Instructions

  1. Cook carrots, celery, and onion over medium heat until softened, about 15 minutes.
  2. Add in garlic and cook 5 more minutes.
  3. Stir in tomato paste, then tomatoes. Break up tomatoes with spoon or kitchen shears.
  4. Stir in lentils and water or broth.
  5. Add seasonings of choice- be liberal with your spices.
  6. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Remove lid for last 5 minutes.
  7. If sauce gets to thick, add a ladle of pasta water at the end and stir.
  8. Serve over spaghetti or other pasta.
https://www.sideofsneakers.com/vegetarian-bolognese/

When everything’s done, put it all together and serve with a nice glass of red wine {or not} and a toasty chunk of garlic bread.

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Hello, carbs, nice to see you.