Spaghetti

A spaghetti sauce can be rich and tasty and still be heart healthy with no-salt added ingredients and topping a nice plate of baked spaghetti squash.

This “Simple Cooking with Heart” creative Italian recipe has an interesting vegetable that is easy and fun to make and eat (American Heart Association).

Spaghetti Squash Spaghetti

Ingredients

1, 3-pound spaghetti squash

non-stick cooking spray

1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil

1 clove fresh garlic, minced (or 1 teaspoon jarred minced garlic)

½ small onion, chopped

1 cup tomatoes, diced (or 1, 8-ounce can, salt free diced tomatoes)

¼ teaspoon black pepper

¼ teaspoon Italian blend salt free herbs

1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1, 16-ounce can salt free tomato sauce

½ cup small (bite-size) fresh mozzarella balls or fresh mozzarella cut into bite-size pieces

¼ cup coarsely chopped or torn fresh basil or 1 teaspoon dried basil

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut spaghetti squash in half. Coat baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray and place squash halves face-down on sheet and bake for 1 hour or until tender.

Heat oil in medium saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic and onion and cook until soft, about 7 minutes. Add diced tomatoes, pepper, herbs and red pepper flakes. Cook until liquid is evaporated, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add tomato sauce and reduce heat to medium low and simmer for 10 minutes.

Let squash sit at room temperature until just cool enough to handle. Take a fork and scrape flesh from outside working in, creating “spaghetti noodles.” Add to sauce and remove from heat. Add mozzarella and toss, top with basil and serve.

Nutrition facts: makes 4 servings; calories – 172 per serving; protein – 6 grams per serving; fiber – 6 grams per serving; cost — $2.63 per serving.

Baked spaghetti squash can also serve as the foundation for all your favorite noodle dishes, from tuna casserole to beef stroghanoff. The key is to make sure the toppings for the squash are low or no salt and use no-fat dairy products.

Contact the reporter 

tmcquerrey@payson.com

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