Spaghetti Squash Marinara
We first had this dish at City House in Nashville. Our friend Tandy Wilson had it on his menu at the time, and it was by far the best bite of food we ate that year. It was so good that, after tasting it, we ordered five more servings. About two years later, one of our farmers, Michael Hanna, brought about 50 pounds of spaghetti squash to the back door of Hog & Hominy. We looked at each other, gave a little nod of approval, and told him we'd take it - all of it. We roasted the squashes in the pizza oven with marinara, chile oil, and buffalo mozzarella and sold them out in two shifts. We bought the entire crop from the Hanna farm for the rest of that season.
Recipe for Spaghetti Squash Marinara
2 whole spaghetti squashes, about 3 1/2 lb each
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 cup (8 fl oz) extra-virgin olive oil
8 sprigs fresh thyme
2 cups (16 fl oz) marinara sauce
8 oz buffalo mozzarella cheese
Chili oil for drizzling
makes 4 servings
Preheat the oven to 450°F (230°C).
Cut each squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds with a sturdy spoon. Arrange the squash halves, cut side up, on a rimmed baking sheet. Season them lightly with salt and pepper, drizze with the olive oil, and top each half with 2 thyme sprigs. Roast the squash halves until fork-tender, about 30 minutes.
Remove the squash halves from the oven and discard the thyme. Fill the squash cavities nearly to the top with the marinara. Using your fingers, pull apart the mozzarella into chunks and scatter them on top of the marinara. Return the squash to the oven and roast until the marinara starts to bubble and cheese is melted, about 5 more minutes. remove from the oven and drizzle with chile oil.
Carefully transfer the squash halves to plates and serve.
Credit: Collards & Carbonara by Andrew Ticer and Michael Hudman. $35.00, Weldon Owen Publishing.