Spaghetti Squash and Asparagus with Lemony Ricotta and Almonds
it isn’t quite spring, the pandemic isn’t entirely over, and you are mostly ok
things you’ll need: spaghetti squash, asparagus, shallots (and/or garlic), ricotta, lemon (zest and juice), olive oil, fresh herbs (mint, basil, thyme, parsley, etc), almonds (or another seed/nut), salt and pepper
stumbled across this recipe from Dana Velden on TheKitchn.com (@danalouisevelden) and only changed up a few things. For other pasta dishes that are very much like this and also great for the in-between season:
incidentally gluten-free and vegetarian. There are really cool vegan ricotta substitutes out there, but this one looks pretty great for this kind of dish.
Eat Well Enough is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.
There is an awkward space in between all changes. Maybe it’s the discordant space between crisis and aftermath where you sit stunned, before grief or gratitude can find you. Maybe it’s the quiet threshold of a new chapter or the weightless anticipation before the beat drops and the roller coaster plummets. You find yourself sitting on the cusp between End and Begin Again.
You want to go out and see people, but it just snowed (again) and you don’t want to deal with outside. Spring allergies are kicking in, but you haven’t put up your winter jacket and heavy blankets. We’re in the in-between, where asparagus is suddenly available for less than $4,000/lb, but there is still a giant pile of winter squash begging to be used. Might as well invite a friend over for dinner and wait it out together.
Preheat your oven to 375 and cut your spaghetti squash into rings and remove the seeds. Most people cut it down the center and scoop out the seeds before roasting, but you find it far more satisfying to coax the squash strands into long noodles when you cut the whole thing along its natural grain.
Brush the cut sides with a little oil and season with salt and pepper. Bake the rings for 30 minutes, flip them over and continue baking until the squash is soft enough to pierce gently with a fork and pulls away from the skin easily.
While the squash roasts, chop a few tablespoons of mint (or fresh green herbs of your choice) and mix with a cup of ricotta. Add the zest and juice of one lemon or more if you like it tangy. Drizzle in a little olive oil and then salt and pepper to taste. Let that rest while you snap the woody ends off your asparagus, sliver some shallots (or garlic), toast some almonds in butter (or on a dry baking pan), and remember how to change the clock on your microwave.
Once the squash is done, set the cooked rings aside. Rough chop the asparagus stalks and spread them around the baking sheet with shallots, olive oil, and salt and pepper to roast for 10-ish minutes.
Coax the squash noodles from their rings, season with salt and pepper.
Add a good dollop of ricotta to the bottom of each bowl, pile on your asparagus, top with spaghetti squash, sprinkle with toasted almonds and fresh herbs. Serve with a side of reminiscing and the uneasy hope for things to come.
You can now read Eat Well Enough in the new Substack app for iPhone.
With the app, you’ll have a dedicated Inbox for my Substack and any others you subscribe to. New posts will never get lost in your email filters, or stuck in spam. Longer posts will never cut-off by your email app. Comments and rich media will all work seamlessly. Overall, it’s a big upgrade to the reading experience.
The Substack app is currently available for iOS. If you don’t have an Apple device, you can join the Android waitlist here.
As always, thank you for reading!
If you’d like to support this work, please consider becoming a paid subscriber. You can also give a gift subscription, hit that “Like” button, share, forward, follow on Instagram (@eatwellenough), or otherwise spread the word about this project.
I keep going because you keep reading 💚 🍽 💚
Leave a comment or drop a line at email@example.com