3 lb Spaghetti Squash- ( or sub pasta noodles)
4 tablespoons olive oil- divided
1 medium eggplant – cut into a small dice (4 cups)
1 red onion- diced
4–6 cloves garlic- rough chopped
1 red bell pepper- diced
14 ounce can crushed or diced tomatoes
1 tablespoon dry Italian herbs (or sub oregano and thyme)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon red chili flakes, more to taste
Splash red wine
2 tablespoons capers, more to taste, plus a splash of the brine
3 tablespoons sliced olives (like green or kalamata)
Garnish: fresh Italian parsley, grated Romano or Parmesan cheese, or a drizzle olive oil
Preheat oven to 425F
Cut squash in half widthwise, place open side down, on a parchment-lined baking sheet in the oven and roast for 30- 40 minutes (depending on size) or until knife tender. Turn on their sides, allowing steam to escape, continue roasting 5-10 minutes, so they dry out a bit.
While the squash is roasting make the Eggplant Puttanesca sauce.
In a large heavy bottom skillet or dutch oven, heat 3 tablespoons oil over med-high heat. Add diced onion and eggplant, and saute, stirring often for 4-5 minutes. Add garlic and red bell pepper, turn heat down to medium and continue cooking until eggplant is tender, about 10-12 more minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add crushed tomatoes, a generous splash of wine, chili flakes, salt, pepper, Italian herbs, and simmer on low heat 5-10 more minutes. Add capers and olives.
Taste, adjust salt, spice level and add more capers or olives to taste. Sometimes I’ll add a little splash of the caper or olive brine, to bump up the flavor.
When spaghetti squash is tender, scoop the seeds out- then scoop out spaghetti squash strands into a bowl, and fluff and toss well with salt, pepper and 1 tablespoon olive oil.
Divide among bowls and top with the eggplant puttanesca. Sprinkle with fresh Italian parsley and grated cheese (optional) or drizzle olive oil.
Alternatively, you can serve this right out of the spaghetti squash shell (making sure to season the squash, mixing with a fork before topping with the putttanesca.