My husband and I were at a dinner party the other night, and one of the topic that came up around the table was; “If you had to choose only 3 types of cuisine to live on for the rest of your life, to the exclusion of all others, what 3 would you choose?” It was so interesting to hear that choices everyone would make, and why they loved that particular cuisine. Indian, because of the curry and bountiful spices. Chinese for the stir frys, dumplings and mixes of protein and veggies. Island food for the lovely marinades, fruit and fresh seafood. Italian for the pasta, sauces and crusty breads. French for the sauces… no one makes a sauce like the french…, pomme frites and profitteroles. I could go on and on. It was such a lovely conversation about food. But, in the end, what it boiled down to, was that everyone there inevitably chose their home countries cuisine first. Venezuelan, Italian, Indian, American. Each country represented thought their countries cuisine was best. Fascinating how our palates are formed and grow with us as we grow, but it always comes back to our own comfort food, right? My choices were, of course, #1, American. To me, American is all-encompassing. You’ve got the farm fresh California cuisine, the BBQ of the midwest and south, the fresh seafood of the coasts, and in most big american cities you kind find authentic Chinese cuisine in Chinatown, authentic Italian in little italy (North beach in San Francisco), the south’s Southern comfort foods… need I go on? American cuisine takes care of it all!!! Then my next two choices were Italian and Mexican. I think between those three cuisines I could live happy as a clam for ever and ever!
So, what led me to share all of that with you, is that I love Italian food. But as we all know, Italian food involves a lot of pasta and a lot of carbs. This recipe is a low carb way to enjoy an Italian meal, with all the flavor, texture and goodness. Give it a try and let me know if you don’t just love it.
SPAGHETTI SQUASH BAKE
- 1 medium spaghetti squash
- 1 medium zucchini, julienned
- 2 cups marinara sauce
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- ½ cup cream cheese
- ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
- salt & pepper to taste
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Cut the spaghetti squash length wise into 2 halves. Using a large spoon, scoop out the seeds and guts from the squash. Brush the sides of the squash with olive oil and place it face side down in a microwavable dish that has a fitted lid. Microwave on high 10-12 minutes, until the squash has softened. Remove from microwave and using a fork, shred squash insides into a large casserole dish or 9×13 pan. Add zuchini.
In a large saucepan, heat the marinara sauce, oregano, basil, cream cheese and parmesan cheese over medium heat until the cheese has melted and can be incorporated into the sauce. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Add sauce mixture to casserole pan and toss to coat. Top with mozzarella cheese and bake for 25-30 minutes until cheese is bubbly.
Garnish with extra shredded parmesan and fresh basil.