Remembering Our Loved Ones with Spaghetti Squash Pasta

 

Remembering our loved ones comes with many great memories and lots of heartache. As time passes, the feelings don’t really get easier, they just get different. They ebb and flow, coming in harder at times, and sometimes they aren’t there at all. But that doesn’t mean we stop loving or remembering. It just makes it that much better when we do.

 
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Last night, we made @dazzosf’s grandmother’s Sicilian tomato sauce recipe (modified because we didn’t have rabbit bones). She would’ve been 102 - WOW. We must have been channeling the spirits because I also had a dream about my dad last night (see my stories or “grief” highlights). This time, both of our hearts felt full from the memories flooding in.

This dish was even better today as it was the perfect comfort food to nourish our emotions. It’s traditionally served with pasta (obviously...hope we aren’t too blasphemous), but we modified it to be SIBO-friendly, low FODMAP, paleo, vegan (minus the meat), and low-carb.* 

Not only does it combine summer’s best fruit with fall’s underrated squash, it also provides warmth and nourishment to comfort your body after a long day on the job. Tomatoes provide a heady dose of vitamin C, along with vitamin K and antioxidants like lycopene, which helps fight inflammation and can reduce the risk of cancer. Spaghetti squash is also high in vitamin C and antioxidants, which helps protect against oxidative stress and damage.

This dish is easier to make in two days because it takes a while to roast the tomatoes and the squash, and simmer the sauce to get a good consistency. We cheated this time, using the Vitamix to blend the sauce and then heated it up on a really high heat because it was late and we were starving (life happens, even for nutritionists).

 
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Spaghetti Squash with Nonna’s Sicilian Sauce
Prep Time: 20 min
Cook Time: 6.5 hours
Serves 4

  • 4 lbs. fresh tomatoes (we used a mix of heirloom and fresh San Marzanos but you could use a

  • 32 oz. can of San Marzano tomatoes)

  • 5 garlic cloves (omit for SIBO/low-FODMAP)

  • 16 basil sprigs, divided

  • 1 bay leaf

  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • 1 large onion (omit for SIBO/low-FODMAP)

  • Avocado oil for drizzling

  • 1 very large or 2 medium spaghetti squash

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut tomatoes in half and arrange in a pyrex dish. Drizzle with avocado oil, and add salt, pepper, garlic, and 8 basil leaves. Cook for 30-40 minutes, until tender and juicy.

  2. Prep spaghetti squash by cutting in half length-wise and scooping out the seeds (you can save these and roast them with salt after if you want!

  3. When tomatoes are finished, take them out and let cool. Put in spaghetti squash for 40-50 minutes or until tender (you should be able to peel it with a fork into spaghetti-like strands). You can also do this step if you are making the sauce the traditional way by simmering over the stove for 3-4 hours.

  4. While squash is cooking, chop onion into fine pieces, if using. Once tomatoes have cooled, peel off skin. In a stock pot over medium heat, heat 1 tbsp. avocado oil and throw in onions. Cook until translucent, then stir in the tomatoes (including garlic- if using - and basil). 

  5. Puree tomatoes with an immersion blender (you can leave it chunky if you like it that way). Add a little water if needed. Stir together, add bay leaf. Alternatively, you can puree the tomatoes in a vitamix/blender and then add them to the stock pot).

  6. Bring sauce to a boil and and then lower to simmer for 3-4 hours, stirring every 15-20 minutes. Place lid loosely over so steam gets out. If you are in a time crunch, keep the heat on medium-high and watch the water boil out.

  7. Salt and pepper the meat (if using). Add meat when sauce is boiling and let it cook slowly with the simmer.

  8. Either begin heating up the squash (if cooked) or put squash in oven to cook 1 hour before sauce is ready.

  9. When sauce is done, peel squash onto plate, pour sauce over, cut up the remaining basil leaves and sprinkle on top. Finish with fresh parmesan if you can handle dairy and think of something that brings a smile to your face.

*For those with autoimmune disease - this recipe is NOT AIP-friendly as it has nightshades, which can trigger autoimmune flares and is not part of the autoimmune protocol.



If you are struggling with grieving the loss of a human, pet, job, home, move, divorce, relationship, etc, please feel free to reach out to me. I know first hand what it feels like to not know your next move and can help guide you forward. Schedule a free 30-minute session here.