On busy weeknights, this plant-based meal is ready fast. I am much more likely to make spaghetti squash cooked in the pressure cooker instead of the oven where it takes 45 minutes. It cooks perfectly in just 7 minutes. Technically, you need to account for time for the pressure cooker to “come to pressure” (just like an oven needs to preheat). Even with that, pressure cooking a spaghetti squash is a huge time saver and could not be easier. And, no oil or salt is needed to cook it in the pressure cooker – just water.
While the spaghetti squash cooks I quickly pull together this simple and easy vegan chickpea bolognese. A typical bolognese has celery and carrots but to make life easier (read: less chopping) I make it by simply sautéing shallots and garlic with extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper. I then add in a can of rinsed and drained chickpeas, mash a bit with a potato masher to create nice texture and let all the flavors mingle. Last, I add a jar of marinara sauce and let that simmer for a bit. I finish with fresh parsley, taste and adjust seasonings if needed. You can add red pepper flakes for heat if desired or hemp seeds for added protein. This sauce has robust flavor and pairs well with regular pasta or in this case, spaghetti squash. It is hearty, satisfying, and can be made in less than 10 minutes. It is perfect for fall nights when you are craving something comforting but not too heavy.
Spaghetti squash offers fiber and vitamins A and C. It is a fun way to incorporate more vegetables into your diet if you are in the mood for pasta. It is mild in taste so it pairs with just about anything. In addition to this yummy chickpea bolognese sauce you could try spaghetti squash topped with homemade vegan pesto, roasted red pepper sauce, Alfredo, plain marinara sauce or simply butter, salt and pepper.