Melinda's Spaghetti Squash With Avocado and Parmesan

Quick Weeknight Meals Recipe Contest 2009

Recipe: Spaghetti Squash Tossed with Olive Oil, Avocado and Parmesan
How long does it take? 35-45 minutes
Category: Vegetarian
Name: Melinda
Why is it a favorite meal? This is a healthy and low-carb take on my simple comfort food of pasta with avocado. The creaminess of the avocado balances out the fresh taste of the squash.

Spaghetti Squash Tossed with Olive Oil, Avocado and Parmesan
makes 2-4 servings

1 medium spaghetti squash
1 or 2 avocados
1 clove garlic, smashed
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
4 fresh basil leaves, sliced
1/4 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1 teaspoon salt

Preheat the oven to 375. Cut spaghetti squash in half lengthwise (this is the hardest part of the recipe, make sure to use a heavy duty knife!) and scrape out the seeds. Lay squash cut side down in a baking dish and add 1/4 inch of water to the pan. Bake for 35-45 minutes, until tender. For an even quicker meal you can microwave the squash whole if you pierce the skin a few times with a knife and nuke on high, 12-15 minutes.

When squash is close to done, put olive oil in a pan over low heat and add the smashed clove of garlic. Cook until it sizzles just to flavor the oil, turn off the heat, and remove the clove. Cut the avocado and squeeze the fresh lemon juice on it to keep it from turning brown and slice up the fresh basil.

Remove the squash from the oven and place cut side up on a cutting board. Use a fork to separate the spaghetti-like strands. Scoop a serving into a bowl, drizzle with the warm oil, top with chunks of avocado, and add the parmesan, basil, and salt and pepper to taste. Eat with a crusty piece of baguette on the side.

This could be vegan without the cheese and there are many additions and alterations you could make. If you happen to have truffle oil around, a few drops of that are great. You could also top it with a fried egg, or prosciutto and whatever fresh veggies you have to use.

Thanks Melinda, and good luck! Readers, give Melinda a thumbs up if you like this recipe!

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