Today, despite the umpteenth day of snow, The Perfect Pantry® departs the log house kitchen, where the blog was born and where my e-books and their headless videos came to life, and moves to the city. My husband Ted and I are excited to return full-time to Boston's South End, a multi-ethnic neighborhood where we've lived since 1980. I'm going to take a few days to unpack, organize the kitchen and pantry, and stock up at the wonderful local stores -- Syrian Grocery (olives, spices, pita bread), Formaggio (cheese, bread and more spices), Ming's Market (Asian), Morse Fish, Foodies supermarket (great produce and butcher) -- that are within blocks of our apartment. I also have to figure out where, and how, to take food photographs in the new space. If you're curious, I'll be sharing photos of my new kitchen in the next Tidbits newsletter, so if you're not already subscribed (it's free), click this link to sign up. In the meantime, I want you to keep cooking, so I'm leaving you with a spaghetti squash recipe, one we've made many times over the past few months, and I hope you'll try it this week. If you don't love clams, substitute shrimp or scallops or mussels, and for liquid, use a bottle of clam juice from the supermarket. I'll be back soon with more recipes -- sooner if you come and help me unpack -- and Like or Dislike will be here on Saturday morning as usual.
Spaghetti squash boat with clams, zucchini, peppers and olives
From the pantry, you'll need: extra virgin olive oil, capers, garlic, canned clams, Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, parsley, black pepper, lemon.
Serves 2-4, depending on the size of your squash; can be doubled.
1 small spaghetti squash
3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 Tbsp capers, drained
1 tsp minced garlic
1 zucchini, seeded and diced
1/2 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
1/2 orange or yellow bell pepper, seeded and diced
1 6-oz can chopped clams, with their juice
2 Tbsp minced fresh basil (or basil from a tube)
1 small tomato, diced
2-3 Tbsp chopped, pitted kalamata olives
Juice of 1/2 lemon
2 Tbsp roughly chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, 1/4 cup or more, to taste
Preheat oven to 400°F.
Carefully cut the squash in half lengthwise, and scoop out the seeds. [Note: if you have a microwave, cook the squash on high power for 5 minutes; this will make it much easier to cut.] Rub the squash inside and out with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, and place cut side down on a rimmed baking sheet. Cover with aluminum foil, and bake for 45 minutes, or until the rind is slightly soft and yields to the touch.
While the squash is baking, make the sauce.
Heat a sauté pan over medium-high heat, and add the remaining oil. Add the capers and garlic, and cook for 30 seconds, until the garlic is aromatic but not burned. Then, stir in the zucchini and bell peppers. Cook for 2 minutes, shaking the pan from time to time to keep things from sticking.
Pour in the clams, basil, tomato, olives and lemon juice. Let the sauce simmer for 5 minutes, until it reduces slightly. Add the fresh parsley, and black pepper to taste.
Fill each half of the squash with half of the vegetable mixture. Top with plenty of grated cheese, and serve hot.
More spaghetti squash main dishes:
Spaghetti squash with spicy marinara and chickpeas, from The Perfect Pantry
Chicken and spaghetti squash casserole with bell peppers, olives and cheese, from The Perfect Pantry
Spaghetti squash with cashew basil pesto and white beans, from The Perfect Pantry
Parmesan zucchini and spaghetti squash with pine nuts, from Julia's Album
Spaghetti squash pad Thai, from Shared Appetite
Chicken enchilada stuffed spaghetti squash, from Closet Cooking
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