In a surprise to absolutely no one, spaghetti squash—unfairly maligned as bland and watery—tastes great when smothered in flavorful tomato sauce and blanketed under a layer of melty cheese. Here the tomato sauce cooks in the oven at the same time the squash roasts; combine the two, return the dish to the oven, and you’ve got a hands-off dinner with minimal cleanup. Serve this with bread and a green salad one night, then mix leftovers into pasta for “noodles” on noodles the next.
Halving the squash crosswise is a tip we learned from cookbook writer and food blogger Alexandra Stafford; it involves easier (and safer!) knife work and results in longer, more noodle-like strands. The bake time of the squash depends on the squash itself—anecdotally and with no scientific backing, I’ve found that smaller, yellower spaghetti squashes tend to cook faster and taste better. —Sarah Jampel