Friday, January 21, 2011

Garlicky Tomato and Eggplant Spaghetti

Way back when, an old friend of mine taught me how to make a pasta dish in which the sauce was baked. I have made it many times and it always reminds me of her. This paleo version leaves out the parmesan and includes eggplant and sausage, not to mention the swap of spaghetti squash for pasta. This meal involves a bit of multi-tasking so be sure to read through the whole recipe and plan accordingly. You'll be using your microwave, stove top, and oven all at the same time. I hope you enjoy this family favorite!

Serves 3-4.

1 pound nitrate-free bulk Italian sausage
8 plum tomatoes or the equivalent in tomatoes you have on hand (I used a variety from our garden.)
1 small eggplant, peeled and cut into 1-inch dice
1 medium to  large spaghetti squash
1 large bunch (approximately 1 cup) fresh basil, cut in thin ribbons or "chiffonade"
1/4 cup chopped black olives
1/3 to 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
3-5 cloves fresh garlic, minced
1/2 tsp sea salt

Cutting an X in the tomato's end ensures
the skin peels easily after blanching.
The skin peels right off at the X.

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Bring water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Using a sharp knife, cut an X in the skin at the bottom end of each tomato. Using a large slotted spoon, gently place tomatoes in the water for 1 minute. Remove from water and let cool. Peel the skin, cut the tomatoes in half, and remove the seeds. Chop into 1-inch dice.
  3. Place tomatoes, eggplant, and garlic in shallow baking dish and season with salt. Bake for 30-40 minutes.
  4. In the meantime, pierce the squash several times with a fork or sharp knife, being sure to pierce all the way through to the middle.
  5. Microwave whole squash at 70 percent power for 15 minutes. Check to see if skin is softened, then continue to microwave in 5 minute increments until skin is very soft and pliable.NOTE: Be sure NOT to cook on full power AND that you pierce the squash all the way through, otherwise, you may end up with a squash explosion in your microwave.
  6. Remove squash from microwave and let it rest for 5-10 minutes to let it finish steaming. 
  7. Cut squash in half lengthwise. Scoop out and discard the seeds. Scrape squash "noodles" from skin and into a bowl. Reserve half for another use.
  8. While squash and tomato mixture cooks, saute sausage over medium high heat in a medium skillet until cooked through. Keep warm.
  9. When tomato mixture is cooked, add sausage to dish and stir to combine. Add to a large bowl with spaghetti squash, basil, and olives. Stir to combine. Serve in shallow bowls. Garnish with a additional basil, if desired.


  1. This was great Pam! Just finished eating, very filling and delicious. We will be making it again, thanks for the recipe!

  2. Thanks, Kirsten! I'm so glad you liked it! I love using spaghetti squash as a pasta replacement in traditional Italian dishes. I appreciate your post--thanks for the nice comments.