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I truly love my pasta, don't get me wrong.

And I probably eat it two to three times a week in some form. However, I like to cut gluten from time to time, and this dish gives me everything I want, with golden strands of spaghetti squash standing in for long pasta. The ricotta adds a creaminess which is so nice with squash and the red sauce. The basil is always a given for me, but if you prefer fresh parsley, do that. Easy meal, light, satisfying.

One spaghetti squash will serve one person well, or two people with a side of bread or salad.

Notes: Garlic-infused olive oil is by Colvita (so good + great value, I get it here.)

Spaghetti Squash with Ricotta and Basil

Ingredients: 1 spaghetti squash, 2 tbsp. garlic-infused olive oil. 3/4 cup ricotta cheese, 2 cups marinara sauce, fresh basil, salt, pepper, grated Parmesan, and red chili flakes (optional).

Serves 1-2.

1. Preheat oven to 400*F. Slice the squash in half lengthwise and remove the seeds. Brush the cut side with garlic-infused olive oil, then sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Place cut-side down on a baking sheet, roast for 30 minutes, flipping halfway through, until tender. Remove.

2. Meanwhile, heat your favorite marinara sauce over medium heat in a saucepan until simmering; cook to reduce and thicken, about 7 minutes. Stir 1/2 cup ricotta cheese into the sauce.

3. Scrape spaghetti squash into a paper-towel-lined bowl to drain for a few minutes. The squash can be weepy, so this helps to remove some of the excess moisture.

4. Plate spaghetti squash, dotting all over with hot marinara sauce. Using the remaining ricotta, add big dollops over the top. Finish with fresh basil leaves, chili flakes, and grated Parmesan.

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