Grain-free spaghetti with wild mushrooms and parmesan.

Grain-free spaghetti with wild mushrooms and parmesan.


Spiralized veggies are all over the internet these days, but could they REALLY double as pasta? Julia Gartland’s pretty and hearty wild mushroom squash spaghetti will convince you.

I’m not going to lie – it took me a while to jump on the spaghetti squash bandwagon. It always seemed like a “diet-y” dish, like kelp noodles, where I’d always rather just have the real thing. That was until I actually had spaghetti squash – trust me, it’s not what you think. It’s buttery and delicious, with an amazing texture. You really won't miss the noodles because spaghetti squash is something different entirely. It’s hearty while remaining light and pretty much guilt-free (if you’re worried about such things). It’s a delicious and simple alternative to pasta, especially if you’re looking to be light on grain or gluten.  

I love this recipe for the amazing umami of the wild mushrooms and parmesan, not to mention countless earthy herbs. You can use this same recipe and sub in lentils (beluga, French or green would be best) for the mushrooms or even grass-fed beef, if you eat it. You can replace spaghetti squash for almost any pasta recipe out there to make a delicious weeknight meal. I promise you’ll start craving this pasta-less spaghetti and wondering when you got so healthy.


Wild Mushroom Spaghetti (Squash) with Herbs & Parmesan


Serves 2-4

3.5 lb spaghetti squash, halved and de-seeded 

3 tablespoons olive oil, divided

1.5 oz hedgehog mushrooms

3 oz cremini mushrooms, diced

2 oz  nebrodini mushrooms, diced

2 oz  maitake mushrooms, torn

Parmigiano reggiano, to serve

Sea salt to taste

Freshly ground pepper


2-3 tablespoons olive oil

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 small onion, diced

1 (28 oz) can of whole, peeled tomatoes (San Marzano, if possible)

1 lemon, zest

3 sprigs of each: fresh thyme, sage, rosemary, oregano

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Sea salt to taste

Freshly ground pepper

Preheat oven to 375°F degrees. Coat spaghetti squash halves with olive oil (about 1 tablespoon). Salt each cavity and add to a foil-lined baking sheet.  Bake for 55-60 minutes or until tender (when a fork punctures the skin easily, it’s ready). Scrape the flesh down to the skin with a fork to make magical spaghetti. Cover with foil to keep warm.

To make sauce: In a large saucepan, add olive oil over medium high heat.  Add garlic and onion, stirring often for about 2 to 3 minutes. Then add can of tomatoes, the zest of one lemon and all herbs wrapped with kitchen twine. Add red pepper flakes, sea salt to taste, and freshly ground pepper.  Add 5.3 fl oz water. Bring the mixture back to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer and cover.

Simmer for 20-25 minutes. Remove bunch of herbs and remove from heat. Then use your wooden spoon to break down tomatoes to desired consistency (chunkier or smoother). Feel free to also use a hand blender if you'd like a super smooth sauce. Keep covered to keep warm.

In a large cast-iron skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. Add mushrooms and stir occasionally. Make sure not to crowd the pan, you want the mushrooms to sear not steam. Sauté for 5-7 minutes or until browned and tender.  

To serve, add a hefty serving of spaghetti squash and top with tomato sauce and wild mushrooms. Shave parmigiano reggiano over top to serve, and season with a pinch of flaky sea salt and freshly ground pepper. Eat immediately, preferably with red wine & good company.


A New York-based photographer, food stylist and self-taught cook. 


INSTAGRAM: @sassykitchen

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