It is the night before moving day and I have two food items just begging to be used up -- a lovely spaghetti squash and a black garlic bulb.
I hear black garlic is a love it or hate it thing. Chances are, if you love garlic and you like fermented foods, you'll love black garlic. It definitely doesn't taste much like regular garlic -- it has a taste and smell, quite bold, all its own. Some taste molasses or balsamic in black garlic while others taste beef bouillon. I taste both the bold flavours of a hearty bouillon with a hint of dark molasses. And this garlic no longer causes garlic breath. We both love it and fear it could become an expensive habit.
I had tried spaghetti squash before with regular spaghetti sauce and it was only okay, not great. The sauce wasn't bold enough. I needed something bold to complement the sweetness of the somewhat bland squash, so I came up with the following chunky black garlic sauce.
- 1 spaghetti squash
- 1 28oz can diced tomatoes, or equivalent of fresh tomatoes (if using fresh, you'll need to add some salt)
- 1 bulb black garlic
- 1 jamaican hot pepper (unless you like very spicy food, don't use what I did)
- 1 red bell pepper
- 2 portobello mushrooms
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- good bunch fresh basil
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Wash spaghetti squash and cut in half. Scoop out seeds and stringy mass. Place cut side down in deep glass or ceramic dish in half inch water. Some prefer to bake whole, having poked holes with skewers all around, and then scoop out the seeds after. I prefer the former as it reduces baking time and reduces possible waste with scooping. Bake at 350F for about 15 minutes, then turn and bake another 15. Let cool a bit and use fork to scrape out spaghetti-like flesh.
In a heavy saucepan (I used my cast iron wok), combine olive oil and chopped black garlic on medium heat until fragrant. Then add diced hot pepper, red bell pepper and diced portobello. Increase heat to medium high and add half of the diced tomato, mashing it with a spoon as it begins to heat through. Mix well and add the rest of the diced tomato, the oregano and fresh basil. Simmer for another five minutes.
Scoop squashta (my corny term for spaghetti squash) into plate and top with chunky black garlic tomato sauce. Serves two to four (we pigged out and finished it in one sitting).