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Spaghetti Squash for Supper

March 2, 2012

I remember exactly when spaghetti squash first came into my life. It was in the late 80’s, I was a special ed teacher working with hearing-impaired toddlers and their parents, and letting my silly side out every chance I got. There was a teacher named Linda, equally wacky, who I hung out with at lunch. She and I would sing Zippa-dee-doo-dah, complete with movements and pretend blue bird on shoulder. She also did a shockingly good, yet bizarre, impression of an infant crying. This act was accomplished by her vocalizing and placing her fist in her mouth to muffle the sound. Quite bizarre, I agree, yet amazingly on target.

Linda was the one who introduced me to one of my many loves, The Spaghetti Squash.

This particular squash appears to be exhibiting signs of the “Hippo in Tutu” syndrome.

No, you do NOT fit in that bowl

A squash that thinks it’s spaghetti? Preposterous! Ridiculous! Uncanny! Yet, true. Should be added to the 7 Wonders of the World, if you ask me.

Interior Shot

Very simple to prepare. Scoop out all the seeds and stuff.

Seedy, quite seedy

Then bake upside down with a little water in pan.

You in the back, don't be shy - flip over!

Fun to get the strands out of the baked shell.

When cool, simply hold a half-shell vertically in the palm of one hand, stem up, and rake it downward  with a fork (across the grain).

I'm ready for my rake-up

Rake me up before you go-go

And extremely versatile. Consider it pretend spaghetti and do with it what you will.

Hey, we could jump back in the shell and be served with topping

With a veggie topping. With spaghetti sauce. With cheese; without cheese. With garbanzo or cannellini beans.  With a meat sauce. Combined with a similar-looking pasta like angel hair or capellini (same thing). Or maybe orzo. You get the picture.

Didn't think of that idea soon enough

Well, I’ll just have to make it again soon so I can serve it in its shell!

Spaghetti Squash for Supper

Ingredients:

1 medium spaghetti squash (choose 1 with fairly smooth skin, shades vary)
water

Directions:

Pre-heat oven to 350°. Cut squash in half length-wise by piercing it with the tip of a sharp knife, then cutting into it until you reach past the flesh. Continue cutting around to separate halves.. Remove all seeds and fibrous stuff from center with a tablespoon.

Place in baking pan, cut side down with a few tablespoons of water to prevent scorching. Bake for 50 minutes or until fork-tender.You can also microwave by piercing the skin in several places, adding a little water to the dish and microwaving until tender, 6-8 minutes or more. If you like other methods, please share!

Let squash rest cut side up, until cool enough to handle. Hold the half-shell vertically in the palm of one hand while raking the strands downward – across the grain – with a fork.

If you’re short on time, prepare  the spaghetti squash in advance, place the pulled strands in the fridge and use in the next day or so.

Serves 4 as a main course, 6 as a side dish.

Read on, we’re not done with you yet!

 One Quick Veggie Topping:

Ingredients:

1 T. olive oil
1/2 red onion, chopped (or white or brown or 1 shallot)
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 green pepper, finely diced (or 1 c. broccoli florets or 1 diced zucchini)
3 Roma (plum) tomatoes, diced
salt & pepper
1 T. Italian parsley, chopped

Directions:

Heat skillet. Heat oil. add onions and pepper and saute for 3-5 minutes or until softened (if using zucchini, add here; if using broccoli, add with tomatoes). Add garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add tomatoes and briefly cook for 2 more minutes. Generously season and toss in parsley. Serve.

Delicious topped with cheese: grated Parmesan, Romano, Asiago or crumbled feta or goat cheese.

Crazily versatile AKA What's in the fridge today?

See above for a few serving suggestions. Give yourself permission to experiment with different vegetables, herbs and seasonings.

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From → Sides, Veggies

5 Comments
  1. Novio permalink

    I think this is your best post, yet. Very organized, very witty. Plus, I can vouch for how good it tastes!

  2. Jean permalink

    Hi Judy, this is just the kind of veggie supper I like to prepare. Now you’ve given me an alternate topping to marinara sauce for spaghetti sauce. Thank you.

  3. One of my favorite vegetables! I love your explanation of how to prepare it for all sorts of adventurous recipes…

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