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.
- 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)
- 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.