Spaghetti squash is fun, but It's never quite hearty enough to satisfy. Here, we toss it with a rich parsley pesto, pair it with meaty prosciutto and serve it on top of toasted bread for a dish that's light enough to serve as an hors d'oeuvres, but hearty enough to eat as a light lunch.
Why this recipe works:
- Splitting the squash in half and adding water to the pan cuts down cooking time while ensuring that the squash does not scorch.
- Drizzling olive oil into the pesto with the food processor running creates a creamy emulsion that helps it cling to the squash better.
- Serving the squash with bread and prosciutto transforms it into a meal filling enough to serve as a light lunch.
Note: Use fresh basil leaves in place of parsley if desired. Any extra pesto can be refrigerated in a sealed container for up to one week or frozen for up to one month. Leftover squash-pesto mixture can be refrigerated for up to one week and added as desired to pasta, etc.
About the author: Lauren Rothman once interned at Serious Eats and recently graduated from journalism school. Try the original recipes on her blog, For the Love of Food, and check out her (many) food photos on Instagram.
- Yield:Serves 6 as an appetizer or 2 to 3 as a light meal
- Active time: 30 minutes
- Total time:30 minutes
- For the Squash:
- 1 medium spaghetti squash, halved lengthwise
- For the Pesto:
- 1/2 cup toasted walnuts
- 5 medium garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
- 2 teaspoons zest from 1 lemon
- 2 cups loosely packed fresh parsley leaves from 1 large bunch parsley, roughly chopped (see note above)
- 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more as necessary
- 1 ounce grated Parmesan cheese (about 1/2 loosely packed cup)
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- For the Crostini:
- 12 (3/4-inch thick) slices baguette or other crusty bread
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 ounces sliced prosciutto, roughly torn
For the Squash: Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat oven to 350°F. Place squash cut-side down on a rimmed baking sheet and add water until water level rises 1/4-inch up the sides of the pan. Bake squash until fork-tender and peeling away from the skin, about 35 minutes. Remove squash from oven, let cool slightly, then use a fork to scrape the inside of the squash, pulling away the spaghetti-like strands from the peel. Place squash flesh in a large bowl and cover to keep warm.
For the Pesto: While the squash bakes, combine walnuts, garlic, and lemon zest in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until mixture is coarsely ground. Add parsley and pulse to combine. With machine running, stream in 3/4 cup olive oil or more, as needed, until pesto is sufficiently loose. Add Parmesan, pulse to combine, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside.
For the Crostini: Place baguette slices on a baking sheet and drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Bake until lightly browned and crisp, about 8 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool.
Add 1/2 cup pesto to warm squash and toss to combine, adding more pesto as necessary to coat squash. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Heap about 1 tablespoon squash on each crostini, then top each crostini with some torn prosciutto, dividing prosciutto evenly between 12 crostini. Serve immediately.