One of the best parts of autumn is finding ways to use all of the different squashes and pumpkins. Spaghetti squash is great because it’s so unique! The flesh comes out in spaghetti-like strings, which makes it a great replacement for pasta noodles in all of your favorite spaghetti recipes.
As someone who normally cooks for only 1 or 2 people I am used to looking for ingredients to accommodate smaller recipes. One of these is squashes and pumpkins. I always buy small squashes when I see them because often times later in the season they are hard to find. If you can not find a spaghetti squash under 1 pound, it is fine to use a larger one, but you won’t need all of the flesh. Just use as much as you need for this recipe (about 1 cup per person) then refrigerate the rest for use in another dish. It also may take a bit longer to cook. See cooking instructions below.
Preheat the oven to 425ºF/220ºC. Chop the ends off the spaghetti squash and cut in half lengthwise. Place the two halves cut side down in a baking dish and cook until you can easily pierce the side with a fork. This should take about 30 minutes. For more detailed instructions see: How To: Cook Spaghetti Squash.
Place the chopped vegetables, water, spinach, lentils, dried oregano, dried red pepper flakes, dried minced onion, garlic powder, rosemary and paprika into a large saucepan. Cover and bring to a boil. Then reduce heat and simmer until the lentils are tender. This should take about 30 minutes. Make sure to keep an eye on the water level so it doesn’t burn. The vegetables will give off some water as the cook down and the lentils will absorb a lot of the water so it should work out well. If it is starting to look too dry and the lentils aren’t done yet just add more water 1/4 cup at a time. If the lentils are finished cooking and the sauce is too watery, just remove the lid and turn up the heat to boil off the extra liquid.
Salt and pepper to taste.
Remove the squash from the oven and let cool for a few minutes. Then use a fork to scrape out the “spaghetti” by dragging it along the cut surface of the squash. You will notice that the flesh starts to form into strings. Continue until you have removed all of it. Discard the shell.
Serve the sauce atop the squash and garnish with fresh parsley.