Roasted Spaghetti Squash with Winter Tomato Sauce

1 lg spaghetti squash, about 3 lb
1/2 to 1 oz dried porcini mushrooms
1 c warm water
2 T olive oil
1 sm onion, finely diced
1 lg garlic clove, sliced
4 thyme sprigs, or 1/4 t dried
1 bay leaf
2 heaping tsp chopped rosemary
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
2 T tomato paste
1 28-oz can crushed tomatoes in their juice, preferably organic
Additional olive oil for squash
Chunk of parmesan cheese for grating

Heat the oven to 375. Poke a few holes in the squash and bake until it's bronwed and soft when you press it with your fingers, about 1 to 1.5 hours. While the squash is baking, make the sauce.

Cover the mushrooms with the water, let stand 15 mins, then squeeze dry and chop them coarsely. Strain the soaking water and set it aside.

Warm the oil in a wide skillet. When hot, add the onion, garlic, thyme, bay leaf, and rosemary. Cook over medium-high heat about 5 mins, stirring frequently. Add the mushrooms and cook 5 mins more. Season with 1/2 t salt and plenty of pepper. Pour in half the mushroom soaking liquid and cook until completely reduced, scraping hte pan to work in any caramelized bits of onion. When the pan is once again dry, mash the tomato paste into the onions, then add the canned tomatoes and remaining mushroom liquid. Lower the heat and simmer 30 minutes or longer. Taste for salt and season with pepper.

When the squash is done, set it on your cutting board, slice it in two, and scoop out the seeds. Next, pull away the flesh with a fork, heaping the spaghetti-like strands into a bowl as you do so. Season with salt and pepper and toss with a little olive oil to moisten.

Serve in individual bowls or plates, and add a spoonful of sauce to each. Grate the cheese over all.

(From Deborah Madison's book Vegetable Literacy)