A few months ago I did a blog where I offered a recipe using spaghetti squash. Some people commented to me that they were glad I had done that because they never quite knew what to do with spaghetti squash.
Spaghetti squash can be used in many different ways. This week I decided to use it in a chili. And because spaghetti squash is a fast-cooking squash (about 15 minutes in a steamer), I made the entire recipe a quick-and-easy chili. You can throw this together in less than an hour.
Easy Spaghetti Squash Chili
½ small spaghetti squash (about one pound)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small dried chile, soaked in a little hot broth (optional)
1 small onion, chopped
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3 large garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 tablespoon liquid (wine, beer, broth, or water)
1 small green pepper, chopped
1 (15-oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 (15-oz) can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups broth
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/4 cup finely chopped cilantroCut the squash into quarters and place in a steamer. Steam until you can insert a fork easily into the flesh. Remove from the heat and let cool. When it’s cool enough to handle, use a fork to scrape the flesh out of the shells. Set aside.
Heat the oil in a medium saucepot. Add the onion, pinch of salt, and sauté until soft and translucent.Meanwhile, remove the chile from the broth, scrape out the seeds, and mince it. Set aside and reserve the broth.
Add the garlic and sauté another 2 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste until blended. Let it cook in, stirring frequently, for about 2 minutes, until it starts to brown on the bottom of the pot.
Add the 1 tablespoon liquid and scrape up browned bits form the pot. Add the green pepper and sauté until they’ve softened. Add the squash, beans, chile, broth, reserved broth (that had the chile), remaining salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and let it simmer until it has thickened, about 10 minutes.
Stir in the cilantro.Taste for seasoning and adjust if needed. Serve hot.