This recipe has all of the cheese and sharp pepper flavor of your favorite cacio e pepe pasta, without the carbs from pasta. By subbing pasta with squash, you’ll get the added nutritional benefits of vitamin A, vitamin C and good fiber. Plus, thanks to its unique texture, spaghetti squash shreds nicely to resemble a thin noodle. The key to this dish’s flavor is the freshly ground black pepper, so don’t skip this step.
Cacio e Pepe Spaghetti Squash Boats
- 1 2 3/4-pound (1,200g) spaghetti squash, halved lengthwise and seeds discarded
- 2 tablespoons (30g) unsalted butter
- 2 large garlic cloves (10g), finely grated
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1/4 cup (20g) shredded Parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup (20g) shredded pecorino-Romano cheese
- 1/2 cup (15g) loosely packed parsley leaves, chopped
- 1/2 cup (15g) loosely packed chives, snipped
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
Preheat the oven to 400°F (227ºC) and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
Roast the spaghetti squash, cut side up, for about 45 minutes or until the squash is almost tender. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, melt the butter and stir in the garlic. Season with salt and pepper.
Remove the squash from the oven and brush the cut sides with the garlic butter. Return the squash to the oven and roast until the squash can be easily pierced with a knife, about 15 minutes more. Let cool slightly and preheat the broiler on high.
Shred the squash with a fork and transfer to a large bowl. Reserve the skins. Toss the squash with half of the parmesan and half of the pecorino. Season with 1/4 teaspoon of salt and 1 teaspoon of pepper. Divide the squash between the two skins. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese and a little more pepper.
Broil the squash halves 6 inches from the heat until the tops are golden brown and bubbling, 2–3 minutes; let cool slightly.
Meanwhile, toss the parsley and chives with the lemon juice and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Garnish the spaghetti squash boats with the herb salad and serve right away.
Serves: 2 | Serving Size: About 2 cups (699g)
Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 288; Total Fat: 17g; Saturated Fat: 9g; Monounsaturated Fat: 5g; Cholesterol: 34mg; Sodium: 642mg; Carbohydrate: 26g; Dietary Fiber: 10g; Sugar: 14g; Protein 15g