Cut the carbs with a spaghetti squash primavera

By Jim Bailey

love changing it up. I love taking a beloved recipe, such as a great primavera, Yankee Chef logoand adding, subtracting or altering it in a way that is equally tasteful, but takes some of the fat, calories and sodium out of the mix. With the recipe below, not only have I reduced all of these but made it so that carbohydrates are at a minimal (not including the croutons of course). Spaghetti squash seeds are great baked with salt, pepper and chili powder as well.

Shrimp pasta primavera made with spaghetti squash.

Shrimp pasta primavera made with spaghetti squash.

1 medium spaghetti squash
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 small summer squash, seeded and chopped
1 small, tart apple, peeled, cored and minced
1/2 pound Maine shrimp
1 cup pink champagne
1 teaspoon dried basil
Salt and black pepper to taste
1 cup milk, divided
1/2 cup shredded Colby cheese
1/2 cup plain or garlic croutons
Parmesan cheese, optional

Preheat the oven to 375-degrees F. Cut squash in half an, using a spoon, scoop out the center, with the seeds. Oil the cut side of the squash with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Line a baking sheet with waxed or parchment paper and place squash, cut-side down, onto prepared pan. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until there is give to the squash when pressed. Remove from oven and let cool just enough to handle.

In the meantime, prepare Primavera sauce. In a large skillet, over medium heat, add remainder of olive oil. When hot, add the apple and summer squash, cook until crisp tender, about 4-5 minutes. Add the shrimp and continue cooking, and stirring, until shrimp is just done and pink, about 2 minutes. Remove shrimp, apple and squash with a slotted spoon; set aside. Add the champagne, raise heat to medium-high and reduce by half. This will take about 5 minutes.

Add basil, milk and Colby cheese. Bring to scalding and stir until cheese has melted, just a minute of so. Add the shrimp mixture and stir until everything is heated through, about 30 seconds, cover and remove from heat.

With a fork, run the tines along the flesh side of the cooked squash to form “spaghetti” strands. Add these strands to the skillet, toss gently to combine and season to taste. Divide this Primavera back into the squash halves. Serve immediately with croutons tossed on top and add Parmesan cheese if desired.

Yankee Chef book coverSchiffer Books of Pennsylvania has released Jim Bailey’s new book The Yankee Chef: Feel Good Food for Every Kitchen. It contains more than 550 traditional New England comfort-food recipes tweaked for today’s palates with hundreds of kitchen tips and food facts. The hardback book is 312 pages and contains 200 color images. Its ISBN is 978-0-7643-4191-5 and the cost is $34.99. The book can be ordered through Misty Valley Books, 802-875-3400.

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Filed Under: Community and Arts LifeThe Yankee Chef

About the Author: Jim Bailey is a third generation Yankee Chef, New England food historian and newspaper columnist. His first cookbook, simply titled The Yankee Chef, has been published. He welcomes all feedback, questions or comments at

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