Have you ever tried to recreate a food memory? We all have them, right? Things that were simmering or baking during significant moments in our lives. Certain dishes that remind us of someone or something special. They can also go the other way on you… for example, I will most likely never again put a Sun Chip in my mouth — Thank you windy road to the beach for all the memories #nope.
When I was making this dish, I wanted to recreate what I ordered on my first date with my husband. The smell of pesto always brings me back to that evening. I wore a denim skirt that in hindsight was gloriously too short. He wore a button down that looked just like the checkered table cloths at the Italian restaurant. He was nervous. He wiped his mouth incessantly with his napkin. We joked. We laughed. Our waitress was totally drunk and boisterously exclaimed “You’re such a beautiful couple! When’s the wedding?!” Perfect for a first date. After the date, I asked him if he wanted to come over and meet my cat, Gunther. Smooth, right? I made out with his face. The rest is history. Some might consider Gunther our Yenta (Fiddler On The Roof reference, anyone? ) Classic love story, right? Totally. So, here I give you a food memory. Ok. Granted, it’s not completely accurate. The original dish had bow-tie pasta and heavy cream and lil’ bit of chicken. You work with what you got though, right? In this case I had a big ol’ spaghetti squash.
I love a spaghetti squash! They’re nature’s noodles, my friend. Bless ‘em. If you are wondering, I totally just said that with a twang. If I was wearing a cowboy hat, I would have tipped it. Apparently on Fridays I get a little country. Weird…
So, remember that stupid easy Spinach & Pepita Pesto we made earlier this week? That is going to get slathered all over these “nature’s noodles” and mixed in with some chopped up chard and some pretty little sun-dried tomaters. If you’re feeling frisky, you can top it all off with some freshly-grated cheese. Make it for someone you’re crushing on. Invite them over to meet your cat. Lay one on ‘em. Commence wedding bells. My methods are fool proof. Pesto is for lovers.
What are some food memories you have? Tell me everything…
- 1 jar of Spinach & Pepita Pesto (use the entire yield of this recipe)
- 1 spaghetti squash, cut in half and seeded
- 1 cup sun dried tomatoes
- 1 bunch of chard, chopped
- Olive oil, for roasting and for the pan
- Freshly grated Parmesan (optional)
- salt & pepper, to taste
- Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
- Cut your spaghetti squash in half lengthwise, and scoop out the seeds.
- Lay face up on a baking sheet. Drizzle some olive oil over the top and sprinkle some salt and pepper on each half.
- Put your squash in the oven to cook for 45-50 minutes. You will know it is done when a fork punctures the flesh of the squash easily.
- While your squash is cooking, make up a batch of this Spinach & Pepita Pesto
- Once you squash is done, set it aside and allow it to cool just enough so that you wont burn yourself while handling it.
- Heat up a little bit of olive oil in a sauce pan.
- Once your oil is hot, add in your chard and your sun dried tomatoes. Cook just enough for the chard to wilt and the tomatoes to become aromatic.
- Using a fork, scoop the flesh of the squash away from the skin. It should separate and look like noodles. Scoop it directly into the pan with the tomatoes and chard.
- Once all of your squash is in the pan, add in your pesto.
- Using a spaghetti rake, work the pesto into the spaghetti squash mixture until it is evenly distributed.
- Serve right away, and garnish with some freshly grated Parmesan cheese.