Spaghetti Squash "Baked Ziti"

I love spaghetti squash.  It’s so light and refreshing, which makes it great for the summer, and its flavor is mild enough that you can really play with its applications.  Not to mention, it’s just kind of fun.
I started thinking about the spaghetti aspect of this squash.  It’s named for its stringy quality, but I decided to play with the idea of using this squash instead of pasta.  And based on what I had in my fridge the other day, I decided to make a Mediterranean-inspired baked ziti sort of dish.  It’s light, refreshing, delicious, and gluten-free.  I bake mine to get the flavors to really blend, but there’s no reason you can’t toss all of this together and eat it as is.
 

Spaghetti Squash “Baked Ziti”

Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

1 spaghetti squash
4 oz. crumbled feta cheese
1 pint cherry tomatoes
1 red onion
1/2 can of black olives, sliced (or one full small can of already sliced olives)
1 green pepper (or any color you want, I just wanted a pop of green to look pretty)
4 tbs red wine vinegar
3 tsp oregano
1 tsp parsley
1-2 cloves garlic
Pinch of salt and pepper

 

Directions:

1.  Bake your spaghetti squash!  Stab the squash a few times with a knife or fork (to avoid squash explosions), then microwave whole spaghetti squash in 1 min. increments for about 10 minutes, rotating the squash every minute, until it is slightly soft to the touch (just a little give).  It will be HOT, so let it cool.  You could even do this part a day ahead of time, and refrigerate the squash until you’re ready for the rest of the dish.

2. Once the squash is cool, cut it in half lengthwise.  Scoop out and discard the seeds.  Then, scrape out the remaining flesh with a fork.  Scrape out the flesh into a sieve or a colander to drain out extra moisture.  Let it sit there while you prep the rest of the dish.

3.  Chop up the red onion and green pepper, halve the cherry tomatoes, slice the olives, and combine all the ingredients into a large bowl.  Add the garlic, salt, pepper, 2 tsp of the oregano, and the vinegar.

4.  Finally, add the drained spaghetti squash and toss to combine.  Pour everything into a glass baking dish, and top with the remaining cheese, oregano, and parsley.

5.  Cover with tinfoil and bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees.  Uncover and bake for additional 20-30 minutes, until the cheese begins to brown slightly.

Let it cool a bit, then scoop some onto a plate and enjoy!

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