Spaghetti Squash with Pesto

Pasta is one of my guiltiest pleasures–Penne alla Vodka, Fettucine Alfredo, Spaghetti Bolognese–you name it, I love it. Of course these dishes are not compliant with a Paleo lifestyle, but spaghetti squash is and it’s fabulous! I’ve found that I can make a lot of my favorite pasta dishes Paleo-friendly just by swapping out the pasta for spaghetti squash.

Now, pesto is one of the very first things I ever learned to make in the kitchen thanks to my longtime friend, Jamie. It’s so easy and simple that even I, as a 22 year old living in a studio apartment with a closet for a kitchen, could make it. It kind of became my party trick for awhile. Whenever I was asked to bring a dish to a party I was always quick to offer up pesto because it was easy, colorful, and tasted great! Fast forward a few years, I realized that this pesto is Paleo-friendly and has therefore become a staple in my diet. Big thanks to JVL for the cooking lesson back in 2004!

*My friend Jamie went on to open her own restaurant in Costa Rica. You can follow her on Instagram @mamasarestaurant*

Ingredients for Spaghetti Squash:

1 spaghetti squash

Olive oil

Directions for Spaghetti Squash:

photoCut the spaghetti squash lengthwise and use a spoon to scoop out the seeds in the middle.

Coat the inside of each half with some olive oil.

Bake for 45 minutes at 350˚

When it is done in the oven, turn each half over and use a fork to scrape out the “noodles.”

Ingredients for Pesto:

2 cups fresh basil leaves

1/2 cup pine nuts

1/2 cup olive oil

1 teaspoon minced garlic

Parmesan (optional, Whole30- leave this out)

Cherry tomatoes (optional)

Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions for Pesto:

Toss the basil, pine nuts and garlic into a food processor. Pulse about 10 seconds until everything is chopped.

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Add 1/2 cup olive oil and pulse about 20 seconds until everything is blended.

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Toss spaghetti squash with pesto and add tomatoes for garnish and sprinkle parmesan, if desired. Add salt and pepper to taste.

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