Have you ever had chicken cacciatore? If you're unfamiliar with the word itself, it's pronounced catch-i-tory. There are many ways to make it but the simplest is with chicken, tomatoes, onions, green peppers and pasta. My mom made it a lot when I was growing up so it's one of my favourite pasta dishes. Her recipe involves cooking some peppers, onions and chicken strips in a frying pan, then adding diced tomatoes and Italian seasonings. Once everything is cooked, add it to cooked pasta and mix it up before serving. It's an awesome recipe that is easy and filling.
But sometimes pasta is a little heavy for summer meals. David and I had recently tried spaghetti squash with tomato sauce and meatballs (sorry, no picture because we ate it so fast! so I thought I'd try squash in the cacciatore.
Spaghetti squash is a gourd with insides that are meant to be eaten like pasta. You simply cut the squash, cook it and scrape out the insides. It's a little crunchier than wheat pasta, but it is still filling without making the eater feel lethargic.
- 1 medium spaghetti squash (found with the gourds at the grocery store)
- chicken breast (I used 3 small pieces because that's all we had)
- 1 small green pepper, diced
- 1 cup pasta sauce
- pinch of garlic powder
- herbs such as oregano and basil
- Preheat oven to 350F
- Fill a baking dish with 1/4 inch of water and set aside
- Cut the spaghetti squash in half (watch this video if you are unsure of how to do so) and place cut side down in the baking dish
- Cook for about 20 minutes
- Remove squash from oven and carefully scrape out the 'noodles' from the inside. I suggest holding the squash in place with an oven mitt clad hand and using a fork for scraping.
- Discard the slimy part directly around the seeds.
- In a separate baking dish combine the chicken, pepper, sauce, garlic powder and herbs (if using). You may also add the squash pasta to the dish.
- Cook uncovered in oven for about 30 minutes, or until chicken is cooked all the way through
- Remove from oven and serve.
I know it seems like there is a lot of work to this recipe, but it really is worth it! If you wanted to save time while making this dish, you could cook the chicken mixture in the oven while the squash is cooking in it's own dish.
At first glance you'd never even know this isn't actually wheat pasta! It has a similar taste but is so much lighter! I highly recommend you try cooking with it :)
If you do try this recipe, please let me know! You can contact me through the comment below, via e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org), or using the social media icons at the top of the page.