Some days just don't lend themselves to long dinners (or long blog posts).
Tonight, I admit I was headed for the nearest drive-thru, but the skies opened up and unloaded and I thought better of that idea from my cottage kitchen, cozy and dry.
I rummaged through the fridge and the pantry and found the makings of a quick, healthy, tasty dinner. Imagine that. Practicing what I preach. A well-stocked larder.
As always it seems, I had no recipe in mind-- just flying by the seat of my pants so to speak, so the sauce below is a very rugged, casual version of a classic arrabbiata sauce (just like the photos are very rugged, casual versions of my usual blog posts because real life.). Traditionally, garlic, onions, and mushrooms when using would all be sauteed in olive oil separately, removed, then returned to the sauce. Had my stomach not been so boisterously commanding sustenance, I might have done that. Instead, I tossed it all in together and cooked it low and slow while the spaghetti squash roasted in the oven. Here's how--
1 26 ounce carton chopped tomatoes (I used Pomi brand)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 pint mushrooms, sliced (I used baby bellas, but certainly use your favorite)
1/2 cup dry red wine (I poured it straight from the bottle that I may or may not have already opened)
a knob of butter
salt to taste
Garnish: Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, grated
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Place squash halves cut side down on a baking sheet. Roast for 30 minutes or until flesh easily yields to fork.
Meanwhile, add all of the sauce ingredients to a non-reactive saucepan. Cook over medium to medium-low heat (just barely a bubble), stirring occasionally, for about 30 minutes, or until mushrooms are tender. Correct seasonings.
If still warm to the touch, simply grab squash halves in a towel and scrape with a fork into a bowl. Top with sauce and garnish with Parmigiano Reggiano cheese.
If you are vegan, skip the butter and the cheese.
So that right there is cooking for one. A larger squash would double the servings (and take longer to cook). I have leftover sauce. I'm going to toss in some sliced green olives tomorrow and a pinch of horseradish and bake a piece of halibut in it. I think that would be called a creole sauce. Or leftovers.
There. That's it. Quick Bites.