This recipe resulted from the simple realization that if spaghetti squash tastes good with tomato sauce and tomato sauce is a pizza ingredient, spaghetti squash might taste good on a pizza. Since I had recently discovered an appreciation for cheeseless pizza, I decided to experiment. The result was a very simple pizza that was incredibly tasty. It has become a go-to meal for after work because it is so easy to make and everyone loves it. Every once in awhile I consider adding another ingredient to the pizza, but I don't want to weigh it down or interfere with the taste of the squash. The spaghetti squash is really the star, and that's as it should be. I might try sprinkling some pine nuts on top one of these days.
When I make the pizza now, I use a pre-made vegan whole wheat crust, but I'm also looking for a good pizza crust recipe for when I have the time to make my own. I like this pizza so much that it has inspired me to make my own pizza crust, something I never thought I would be inclined to do.
- 2 tsp vegetable oil
- ¼ cup onion, chopped
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 8-oz can tomato sauce
- ½ tsp dried oregano
- ½ tsp dried thyme
- ½ spaghetti squash, seeds removed
- 1 12-inch pre-made vegan pizza crust
- olive oil
- garlic powder
- dried basil leaves, crushed between fingers
- kosher salt
Preheat oven according to the instructions on the pizza crust.
In a medium saucepan, add the oil and onions. Sweat over medium heat until they start to become transparent. Add garlic and sweat an additional minute or so, then add the tomato sauce and stir. Add oregano and thyme and cook for a couple of minutes, stirring to incorporate the seasoning.
Place half of the spaghetti squash on a microwave-safe plate, cut side down. Microwave for four minutes. With a hot pad or towel protecting your hand from the heat, squeeze the end of the squash. If it's difficult to make an indentation in the rind, cook for another two minutes.
When the squash is cooked, remove from the microwave and set aside. Place the packaged crust on a pizza pan and rub with olive oil. Spoon tomato sauce onto crust, spreading to ½ inch inside the edge of the crust.
Lightly sprinkle the exposed part of the crust with garlic powder. With a hot pad protecting your hand, hold the cooked spaghetti squash and begin loosening the stringy inside with a fork and twisting slightly in order to pull the strings from the squash. Place small “nests” of spaghetti squash onto the pizza and spread lightly with fork to evenly distribute the squash as much as you can. Be careful not to overload the crust with squash. Depending on the size of the squash, you may have some remaining. (I usually exercise a chef's prerogative and eat the remaining squash straight from the rind while the pizza is cooking.)
Sprinkle the pizza with dried basil and salt, to taste. Bake according to instructions on the pizza crust.
*Image courtesy Flickr creative commons.