Spaghetti Squash with Butter and Cheese and Spicy Marinara with Saffron

by Rachael Ray Show Staff 4:00 AM, November 22, 2010

Aired November 22, 2010

Serves Serves 4
2 large spaghetti squash
4 tablespoons butter
1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, plus some to pass at table
1 cup chicken stock or water
A generous pinch of saffron, about 24 threads
2 tablespoons EVOO - Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 medium onion, very finely chopped
1 carrot, peeled and finely chopped or grated
3-4 cloves garlic, finely chopped or grated
1 red hot cherry or Fresno chili pepper, sliced with seeds for extra-spicy sauce or seeded and finely chopped for milder heat level
1 28- to 32-ounce can San Marzano tomatoes
1 teaspoon dried oregano, 1/3 palmful
A handful of flat-leaf parsley, chopped
A handful of basil leaves, torn

Heat oven to 425F.

Split squash lengthwise and place cut-side down on a baking sheet. Roast 45 minutes-1 hour, until the squash flesh is very tender.

Meanwhile, heat stock or water in a small pot with the saffron threads to bloom the saffron and infuse the liquid with flavor.

While squash roasts, heat EVOO, a couple of turns of the pan, in a pan over medium heat. Add onions, carrot, garlic and chili pepper, and season with salt and pepper. Cook 8-10 minutes then add saffron stock and tomatoes to the pan. Crush tomatoes with a potato masher or spoon. Add oregano, parsley and basil, and simmer to thicken, 20-30 minutes over medium-low heat.

When the squash is done, melt butter in small pot. Flip squash over and shred the squash into spaghetti-like strands with a fork, leaving the flesh in the squash shells. Dress evenly with melted butter, cheese, salt and pepper.

Top each half-squash with sauce and more cheese, and serve.