roasted spaghetti squash with sun-dried tomatoes, spinach, and ricotta cream sauce

This delicious fall recipe features spaghetti squash, one of the more unique squash varieties. It can be baked and then the squash can be pulled out of the shell with a fork to form a sort of squash "pasta" that can be blended with different ingredients and sauces. It holds flavor well and retains it's texture without becoming mushy. In this recipe, I combine spaghetti squash with tangy sun-dried tomatoes, spinach, and ricotta. The dish is topped with pan-fried chicken and fresh scallions for extra color and texture. I would recommend serving this dish with a full-bodied white wine such as a Chardonnary, or a lighter red like a Pinot Noir. 

  • Spaghetti squash (1 whole, medium-sized)

  • Boneless, skinless chicken breasts (2 medium-sized)

  • Olive oil (4 tablespoons total)

  • Sun-dried tomatoes (approximately 10, packed in olive oil; thinly sliced)

  • Fresh garlic (2 teaspoons, minced)

  • Fresh spinach (4 cups)

  • Lemon juice (2 teaspoons)

  • Ricotta cheese (1/2 cup)

  • Milk (1/4 cup)

  • Sea salt (2 teaspoon)

  • Red chili pepper (1 and 1/2 teaspoons)

  • Shredded white cheddar cheese (1/2 cup)

  • Scallions, or green onions (2/3 cup, chopped)

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

  2. With a large chef's knife, cut the spaghetti squash in half, lengthwise. Remove the stringly inside section and seeds with a spoon and discard.

  3. Place the two squash halves flesh-down in a large baking dish. Add 1/2 cup of water to the bottom of the dish to help facilitate the roasting process.

  4. Cover the squash with aluminum foil and bake in the oven for approximately 30 minutes. You can test to see if the squash is done by flipping one squash half over at 30 minutes and using a fork to try to pull the flesh out; if it is still hard and tough to remove, re-cover and bake for another 5 minutes.

  5. Remove the squash from the oven and let cool slightly. Use a fork to remove all the flesh and set aside in a separate dish until ready to combine with the sauce.

  6. Unwrap the chicken breasts and drizzle with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, plus a pinch of salt and pepper.

  7. Heat a cast iron skillet over medium-heat on the stove. Add the seasoned chicken breasts to the skillet and let sear for 3 to 4 minutes one one side. Flip the chicken breasts and cook on the other side for 3 minutes. 

  8. Move the skillet with the chicken to the oven at 400 degrees for approximately 3 minutes to finish cooking.

  9. Remove chicken from oven and transfer to a cutting board to let rest.

  10. In a deep skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil on the stove. Add the sliced sun-dried tomatoes and fresh minced garlic and stir with a wooden spoon. Add the fresh spinach and lemon juice and cover skillet with top until spinach cooks down and becomes wilted.

  11. Uncover the skillet and add the ricotta, milk, salt and chili pepper to the sauce. Using the spoon, stir until evenly combined.

  12. Fold in the spaghetti squash, shredded cheese, and most of the chopped green onions until evenly combined. Reserve 1 tablespoon of green onions for garnish. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed; add extra salt if desired. 

  13. To serve, plate the spaghetti squash and sauce in a large casserole dish and top with sliced chicken. Garnish with additional drizzle of olive oil and fresh scallions.

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