Last week was so go-go-go that I didn’t even get a chance to post the simple and delicious sauce I used atop my perfectly roasted spaghetti squash (see my last post for recipe). I had a short work week because of our 3-day getaway in Denver this past weekend, so my week consisted mostly of travel prep (laundry, packing, itinerary planning) as well as birthday business for Matt’s 25th. However, I easily found some time to actually make this huge batch of roasted spaghetti squash with mushroom and goat cheese marinara to eat for dinner and also for a couple lunches for us to bring to work. I kid you not, this stuff is unbelievably yummy, healthy, and comforting, and that’s why it’s one of my go-to meals.
So we made it to Denver without a hitch, and had so much fun exploring (and eating our way through) the city and surrounding mountain towns – all while staying in the coolest boutique hotel, The Oxford, located in the LODO neighborhood of downtown Denver. The trip was a full-on success but, needless to say, now I’m exhausted, missing Denver, and wishing I was back on vacation. But whether I like it or not, it’s back to reality and back to (mostly) healthy, homemade meals.
Because it’s going to take me a day or two to get back in the swing of things, it’s the perfect opportunity to share my outrageously delicious goat cheese and mushroom marinara from last week. This sauce is not a new recipe though. This is one of my favorite sauces to make, especially with roasted spaghetti squash. The flavors of this rich-tasting (but actually pretty light) sauce pair perfectly with the subtle sweetness of the squash, but would also be equally as delish with any traditional pasta like rotini, shells, or linguine.
Mixing a little bit of goat cheese into classic red sauce is something my mom has always done, and her angel hair pasta with goat cheese marinara is one of my favorite dinners that she makes. Just a little bit of goat cheese turns a simple red sauce into something special. It’s just so pretty and fancy and creamy and crave-worthy. So that’s why I created this simple, flavorful, and healthy mushroom marinara sauce to use as the perfect base for a goat cheese finale. Match made in heaven.
Goat Cheese and Mushroom Marinara & Spaghetti Squash “Pasta”
Serves: 4 Start to Finish: 35 min for sauce, 50 min for sauce and squash
2 medium-large Spaghetti Squash (approx. 4 lbs each)
1 tablespoon Olive Oil
6 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 Yellow Onion (.5 lbs), peeled and diced
1 lb Cremini Mushrooms (or Baby Bellas), sliced
Fine Grain Salt
28 ounces canned Diced Tomatoes (I used an organic no-salt added variety)
1 teaspoon Dried Basil
1 teaspoon Dried Thyme
5-6 ounces Fresh Baby Spinach
4 ounces Goat Cheese
Prepare Spaghetti Squash for roasting and get it in the oven (click here for my roasted squash recipe).
Add olive oil and garlic to large skillet. Turn burner to medium heat. When garlic begins to sizzle cook for one minute then add diced onions. Cook for 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add sliced mushrooms to pan. Cook for 4 minutes. Add 1 tsp salt. Cook mushrooms for another 2-4 minutes.
Add diced tomatoes to pan. Add basil, thyme, and 3/4 tsp salt. Cook for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Stir in fresh spinach. Cook until spinach is wilted, about 2-3 minutes. Remove sauce from heat. Allow to sit for 5 minutes. Stir in goat cheese until cheese is completely melted and sauce is creamy.
When squash is roasted and turned to strands using a fork, serve with sauce and garnish with Parmesan cheese if desired.