No matter how you serve it, pasta is just plain delicious. But all that carb-loading can be detrimental to your diet. Consider substituting spaghetti squash for the linguine; you still get the feel of spaghetti with the added nutrients from the vegetable. Another secret: Cut down on the olive oil in your pesto by substituting some of it with chicken stock. Serves 2
Submitted by Stephanie Yaggy, executive editor
1 medium spaghetti squash
2 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
¼ cup olive oil
¼ cup chicken stock
1/3 cup toasted pine nuts or walnuts
3 medium-sized garlic cloves, minced
Salt and pepper to taste
Heat oven to 400 degrees. Pierce squash with a fork. Place in an ungreased baking dish and bake, uncovered, for about 1 hour 30 minutes, or until tender. (To microwave, pierce squash with a fork. Place on a microwavable dish and cook on high for 6 minutes per pound until tender.) When cool, cut in half, remove seeds and scoop out the pulp. Scoop out the squash with a fork; it will come out in spaghetti-like pieces.
Meanwhile, combine the basil, pine nuts and garlic in a food processor until coarsely chopped.
Slowly add the olive oil in a constant stream while the food processor is on. Scrape down the sides of the food processor with a rubber spatula. Add the chicken stock and pulse a few times.
Add the grated cheese and pulse again until blended. Add a pinch of salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.
Toss the pesto with the cooled spaghetti squash. Top with grated Parmesan cheese and serve. Note: Add cubed cooked chicken for added protein.
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