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March 22, 2011

Spaghetti Squash with Green Pea Pesto and Beans

Spring is here.. apparently. That is, if you go by the calendar. There have been some teaser days spent mostly outdoors, along with a few healthy thunderstorms. However, I am not measuring the change of seasons by this criteria -- the evidence that I seek is the vegetables! Oh, how I long to fill my produce bin with hearty stalks of asparagus, glorious globe artichokes, and the rare treat of fresh green peas. Any day now I will have my way. In the meantime I am cooking up the last of the winter squash and playing make believe with this green pea pesto of the frozen pea variety. I must say, dinners like this make the wait not so bad!

Spaghetti Squash with Green Pea Pesto and Beans
(Serves 4)

1 large spaghetti squash (3-4 lbs)

1 15 oz can cannellini beans (or chickpeas), drained and rinsed
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1 shallot, diced (or 1/2 cup red onion, diced)
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tsp dried oregano
salt to taste

2 cups frozen peas, thawed
2 tbsp nutritional yeast
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, packed
1/4 cup walnuts, toasted
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
1 tbsp olive oil (or water for lower fat)
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 small clove of garlic, peeled
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper

Squash: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil and coat with cooking spray. Halve the squash and scoop out and discard the seeds. Rub or spray the insides with a small amount of oil and place halves cut side down on the baking sheet. Roast for 60-90 minutes, until cooked through and starting to lightly brown at the edges. Set aside to cool. (I did this a day ahead).

Pesto: Combine all pesto ingredients in a food processor and process for about 2 minutes, scraping down the sides as necessary. A few minutes before serving transfer to a small pot and warm gently over med-low heat.

Beans: Coat a skillet with cooking spray and saute shallots over medium heat until softened, 3-4 minutes. Stir in garlic, oregano, and about a tablespoon of water (to prevent sticking) and continue to saute for 2 minutes. Stir in beans and tomatoes and saute gently until hot, about 3 minutes. Season with salt.

Assembly: Use a fork to scrape out the spaghetti squash into strands. If necessary, reheat the squash in the microwave or on the stove top in a skillet with cooking spray over medium heat. Divide up the squash into four servings. Top with desired amount of sauce (I found 1/4 cup each to be adequate) and divide up the beans among the four plates. Garnish with a few peas and fresh basil leaves if desired. Serve hot.


  1. This looks fantastic. I wish I had some basil because I have a spaghetti squash that is just sitting there waiting on me to use.

  2. Beautiful picture!!! This looks like the *perfect* meal for spring!!

  3. i could gobble that all up now !! :)

  4. I cannot wait for all those fresh vegetables, too! Especially green asparagus!
    Your recipe looks like a wonderful way to enjoy spaghetti squash!

  5. I have quite the affinity for spaghetti in all forms- including squash. How does the pea pesto differ from "normal" pesto in taste & texture?

  6. I am anticipating strawberries. Soon, soon.

  7. It's literally been years since I made anything with spaghetti squash... Perhaps it's time to give it another go. Pesto sounds like the perfect accompaniment!

    And I know what you mean about the weather- We had a 70 degree day on Friday, and now it's snowing today. Yikes...

  8. I love the idea of pea pesto! I have frozen peas in my freezer that I've been looking to do something with. Thanks for the idea!

  9. Abby B- it is more substantial and almost fluffy in texture. The taste is still dominated by the basil, and the blend of nuts and nutritional yeast lend a rich buttery flavor. The peas don't do much to change the flavor, but it is a big change in texture.

  10. I agree with you that spring=AWESOME food and produce! YAY! THe pesto on the spaghetti squash looks so good! Love pesto on just about anything though!

  11. I've been getting asparagus in my produce box! That's the happiest evidence of spring of all! :) Though there's still gigantic heaps of snow outside...

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  13. Lovely! I also saw your pretty face on the vegan weddings blog!

  14. Change of in season vegetables is one of the joys of a new season - but I agree that this meal would make the wait easier!

  15. What a colorful picture! I love the creative pesto, too.

  16. Ahh green pea pesto, I have been wanting to make it forever but haven't yet. I love the dish you created with it!

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