Parm for Days: Spaghetti Squash Primavera

Often called the “King of Cheeses” Parmigiano-Reggiano if beloved for its versatility and nutty flavor. But you haven’t really tasted Parm until you’ve had a nugget from a freshly-cracked wheel. If you want to experience the traditon known as a “Parm Crack”, Whole Foods Markets across the U.S.  (including Fairfield County) will be celebrating their 10th annual “Parm Crack” event on Saturday, February 24, at 3pm, as all Whole Foods Markets simultaneously crack open wheels of Parm from the finest creameries in Northern Italy and offer tastings (yum!) and demonstrations. Even better, Parmigiano-Reggiano will be on sale at all Whole Foods Markets from February 23-25 (save $5 on a pound)!  So, what are you waiting for? Get crackin’ and join the fun at Whole Foods Markets in Greenwich, Darien, Westport, or Fairfield on February 24, at 3pm.

As part of the celebration, Whole Foods Markets challenged local bloggers (me!) to come up with a recipe that highlights this delicious cheese. I’ve decided to share one of my family’s long-standing favorites, Spaghetti Squash Primavera, which I make with loads and loads of Parm. It has fewer carbs than spaghetti, but all the rich flavor thanks to savory Parmesano-Reggiano, and heaps of healthy veggies like peas and red pepper. Did I mention it also has pancetta? Because, Italian bacon…and a handful of fresh basil to bring out the bright springtime flavors. Serve it with a crisp salad and a glass of Sauvignon Blanc and you’ve got the perfect comfort food to transition from winter to spring.

Spaghetti Squash Primavera


1 spaghetti squash

1 cup Pancetta, small dice

1 medium sized onion, medium diced

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1 cup fresh spring green peas

1 red bell pepper, medium diced (about one cup)

1/4 cup fresh basil, torn into small pieces

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 cup grated Parmesano-Reggiano, plus more for garnish



hot red pepper flakes


Cut spaghetti squash in half lengthwise and scoop out seeds

Place spaghetti squash skin-side-up  in a 13 inch glass baking dish with about 1 inch of water in bottom, pierce skin several times with fork

Microwave for about 25 minutes (may be longer depending on size of squash)

Meanwhile, place one tablespoon of olive oil on large skillet over medium heat

Add pancetta to pan and saute about 4 minutes, stir frequently to prevent sticking

Remove pancetta from pan with slotted spoon and place in bowl, reserve fat in pan

Add onion to pan along with one tablespoon of olive oil and saute untill translucent

Add garlic, red bell pepper, salt and pepper to taste and continue to saute until peppers are soft. When finished, remove pan from heat

When spaghetti squash is finished cooking (you can tell it’s done when it turns a darker shade of yellow and is soft to the touch), drain water and let squash cool. When squash is cool to the touch, gently scrape with a fork to remove spaghetti-like strands. Spaghetti squash should easily separate from its outer shell.

Place pan with pepper, onion, and garlic back on to the heating element. Add green peas and saute until peas are cooked through, stirring gently so as not to squash delicate peas. Return pancetta to the pan

When peas are cooked, add spaghetti squash to the pan and gently toss.

Remove from heat and toss with Parmesano-Reggiano and hot red pepper flakes to taste

Place in bowls and sprinkle liberally with grated Parmesano-Reggiano and basil


This story was created in partnership with Whole Foods Market. #sponsored

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