this was my first time making or eating spaghetti squash, and i must say i feel that i have been missing out! if you've never tried this fun food before, i highly recommend it! for a simple preparation that lets the flavor of the squash show through, try this recipe for roasted spaghetti squash.
start off with a small spaghetti squash - about 2.5 lbs. if yours is a little larger, you may need to increase the cooking time.
first, you want to cut the squash in half using a large, sharp knife on a stable surface. i put the point in the middle of the squash, then push down to slice it in half.
once your squash is in half, scrape out the seeds like you would a pumpkin.
there will be a lot of guts scraped out as well. but don't just discard them - you can make a delicious quickbread with them! recipe coming next week. (or if you can't wait, you can use this one)
place the squash halves, cut side up, in a baking pan. brush with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. you'll bake them at 375 degrees F until the strands separate pretty easily when you scrape the sides with a fork.
you want the squash to still be a bit crunchy. if you bake it too long, it will become mushy.
now the fun part! use your fork to scrape from the sides into the middle, and across the sides horizontally to loosen all the strands. i was amazed how noodle-like the squash really is!
empty out the skins of the squash and discard. at this point, you can refrigerate the prepared squash, or you can proceed through the rest of the recipe.
chop up the herbs, garlic and shallot. i used fresh parsley, but any fresh italian herb would be good here.
saute the shallot until it starts to soften. throw in the garlic, give it a stir and cook for one more minute. add the squash to this mixture, and cook for about 3 minutes.
turn off the heat, mix in the herbs and top with the parmesan cheese.
this herb-y squash makes a nice side dish to a meal, or you can add in some cannellini beans for a light lunch!
roasted spaghetti squash
1 small spaghetti squash ( about 2.5 lb)
~2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper
1. preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
2. cut the spaghetti squash in half, scoop out the seeds (save the guts!), and lay in a baking dish cut side up.
3. brush the squash with the olive oil, and season with plenty of salt and pepper.
3. roast the squash for 45 min-60 minutes depending on the size of your squash. you'll know its done when you can easily separate the strands of the squash flesh by scraping it with a fork.
4. let the squash cool slightly, and then loosen the strands from the skin by scraping with a fork. discard the skin.
herb and cheese spaghetti squash
based on Martha Stewart's recipe
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 shallots, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups roasted spaghetti squash (recipe above)
3 tbsp fresh parsley, or other fresh green herb
1/2 cup freshly-grated parmesan cheese*
1. heat the olive oil in a large skillet.
2. add the shallots to the pan and cook until they start to soften, about 2 minutes. add the garlic and cook for one more minute.
3. add the squash to the skillet, and mix with the shallots and garlic. let it cook for about 3 minutes.
4. turn of the heat, and mix in the parsley (or herb of choice). sprinkle the parmesan evenly over the top and serve warm.
- use any any freshly-grated, hard italian cheese. a mix is tasty as well.
- you can roast the spaghetti squash in advance. just store it in the fridge for up to 3 days.
- if you have tomatoes, throw them in with the shallots for extra color and taste.
- add in 2 cups of cooked cannellini beans to make the dish a little more substantial, and you have a light meal instead of a side.