Keep Building On What You Know.
The easiest way to eat vegan or plant-based is to be a home cook. A great, basic marinara sauce is one of those recipes that a lot of home cooks have in their arsenals. A beautifully balanced marinara sauce can be the beginning to so many other dishes, like this Spaghetti Squash Bake.
Using spaghetti squash instead of pasta, is one way to add a more nutrient dense option to a weeknight dinner or dinner party. Plus, before you roast the squash, you can add herbs and spices to really impact the intensity of whatever dish you are making. In this case, smearing olive oil, oregano, basil, garlic & onion powder, and maybe some red pepper flakes bumps this dish straight to another level.
Spaghetti Squash Bake
- 1 medium spaghetti squash
- 1 TBS olive oil
- 1 tsp Italian seasonings: basil, oregano, thyme, garlic powder, onion powder
- salt & pepper
- Heat oven to 400 degrees
- Cut squash in half, removing all seeds and stringy bits.
- Smear Italian seasonings, and salt & pepper on cut side of squash
- Bake for 25 minutes, or until squash is very tender when poked with a fork.
- Remove from oven when done, and let cool enough to handle.
- Once cool, completely scrape inside of squash into a baking dish.
- Spread evenly into baking dish and cover with marinara sauce.
- Add dollops of cashew ricotta on top.
- Bake for 20 minutes, or until completely heated through.
My Marinara Sauce
- 1 28 oz. can of crushed tomatoes. If you're using whole tomatoes, process them until they are smooth. * Make sure you are using tomatoes that are canned without using BPA's.
- 1 15 oz can tomato sauce
- 1/2 medium onion, diced
- 5 cloves of garlic. More or less to taste
- 1 TBS Basil
- 1 TBS Oregano
- 2 tsp Fennel Seed
- Salt & Pepper
- Saute onions on medium heat until transparent, about 3 minutes. Lightly salt & pepper.
- Add garlic and saute another minute or two.
- Add canned tomatoes & tomato sauce, stirring until incorporated.
- Start adding the herbs. I like to crush my dried herbs in my hand to release more flavor.
- Add the salt & pepper to taste. **I find if the sauce still tastes a little sweet, it needs a dash more salt. Just be careful not to overdo it.
- Simmer for at least 1/2 hour.
- 1 Cup of cashews, soaked for at least 15 minutes. They longer you can soak, the smoother your ricotta will be. Best soaked overnight.
- 1 TBS Fresh Basil
- 1 Garlic clove, diced
- 1 tsp Fresh lemon juice
- 1 TBS nutritional yeast
- Strain cashews reserving liquid.
- Place cashews in food processor with 2 TBS of the reserved liquid and the rest of the ingredients.
- Process until completely smooth.
- Dollop on top of Spaghetti Squash Bake, or use in other dishes, like vegan lasagna, or vegan raviolis. Cashew ricotta can also be used for a dip.