A tasty, rich dish that hints at spring's arrival while still anchored in a favorite winter staple
SPAGHETTI SQUASH WITH ASPARAGUS, RICOTTA, LEMON AND THYME
Carefully cut the squash in half, scrape out the seeds, and brush with olive oil. Place cut side down on a baking tray and place in the oven to roast for about 35 minutes. Meanwhile, prep the asparagus by snapping off the woody ends and slicing the stalks on a diagonal into 2-inch pieces.
Using a microplane or zester, remove 1 teaspoon of lemon zest from the lemon, and then cut the lemon in half and juice it. Pick the leaves and soft, thin stems from the thyme until you have about 1 teaspoon.
Combine the lemon zest, 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, thyme leaves and ricotta in a large bowl. Sprinkle with salt and several grinds of the pepper mill. Taste and adjust seasonings, adding more lemon juice, salt and pepper as needed. Set aside.
After the squash has roasted for about 35-40 minutes, add the asparagus to the tray and tuck the glove of garlic beneath one of the squash halves. Return the tray to the oven and roast another 10 minutes, so until the asparagus is bright green and starting to char in places and when the squash is easily pierced with a fork.
Take the baking tray from oven and carefully remove the garlic clove from beneath the squash. It should be a little soft from its time in the oven. Snip off one end and squeeze the garlic from the peel into the ricotta and mix well. Transfer the asparagus to the bowl with the ricotta.
Let the squash cool for another 5 minutes. Pull a fork through the flesh to separate and remove the strands from the shell. Add to bowl with ricotta mixture. Mix squash, asparagus and ricotta mixture, season to taste with salt and pepper, and spoon into a serving dish.
Drizzle with a little olive oil and sprinkle with pine nuts before serving.
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Interested in a private Judaic studies instructor for free? Let us know by clicking here.
(Dana Velden is a writer for TheKitchn.com, a nationally known blog for people who love food and home cooking. Submit any comments or questions to: firstname.lastname@example.org.)