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Spaghetti Squash with Melted Leeks and Black Peppercorn

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Leverage the magic of spaghetti squash this new year for a nutrient-dense approach to healthy eating! Savory strings of squash topped with vibrant melted leeks will bring a new “lower calorie, but not lower flavor” spin to your pasta nights.

Serves 4-6.

  • 1 large spaghetti squash (2-3 pounds), washed
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon black peppercorn, plus more to taste
  • 2 medium leeks, halved lengthwise and well-washed
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
  • 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese, for garnish (optional)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and line a sheet tray with parchment paper.

Cut squash in half lengthwise*, drizzle evenly with 1 tablespoon olive oil, and season with 1/2 teaspoon peppercorn on open halves of squash. Place cut side down on sheet tray lined with parchment paper and roast squash till fork tender, about 45 minutes.

Allow squash to cool slightly and  shred the squash into “spaghetti” strands by pulling the fork through the cooked squash length wise. Set aside.

While squash is cooling, prepare the leeks by removing any tough outer leaves. Slice into 1/4-inch half-moons, using all but the very top and very bottom of the leeks. In a large sauté pan, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-low heat. Add the leeks and slowly cook until golden and tender, about 10 minutes. Add garlic and cook another 2 minutes, stirring frequently.

In the same sauté pan, change heat to medium-high. Toss spaghetti squash, oregano,basil, and salt into the melted leeks and cook for 2 minutes. Add additional salt to taste, if needed.

To serve, top with additional black peppercorn and optional Parmesan cheese. Serve hot.

*Cutting a spaghetti squash in half can be difficult. To make the task easier, create several small slits in the skin with a knife and microwave squash 5-6 minutes then cool for 10 minutes before slicing in half.