OK, so I'm not quite sure how I got this far in life and cooking without ever encountering the spaghetti squash, but I have (and haven't) and would like your help.
My son spotted it at the farmer's market and was really excited so , of course, we took one home. I've told him how we'll cook it and use a fork to pull out a bunch of groovy strands of spaghetti, so I'm hoping that much is true.
So far, I know that I'm supposed to halve it vertically, remove the seeds and roast it. Then I'm supposed to fork out the contents and fluff them up. But then what??
My five year old wants to put spaghetti sauce on it but I think I've convinced him that we'll want to go with another preparation. But since I've never even seen the stuff, let alone tasted it, I am really at a loss.
I do have some very nice pancetta and my garden sage is still good so I thought I might toss that together. But please, if you have any ideas at all for spaghetti squash, I need help!!!!
I have been making spaghetti squash for years and find it to be very simple. I cut it in half, remove seeds and place flesh side down on a plate. I microwave it for at least 12 min. on high depending on the size of the squash. I check for doneness by pulling out a few strands with a fork and tasting. The beauty of spaghetti squash is that you can use it as you would for any pasta recipe. So, fairly bland to serve children to highly spiced for adults. Any sauce I would use for pasta goes perfectly over spaghetti squash.
I just made some tonight - then I saw this thread while looking for alternative ways to use it.
I had it as a side-dish with a roasted rabbit, parsnip and carrot platter. The only thing I did to the squash before putting it in the oven was cut it in half, seed it, smear it with a little olive oil on the inside and season it with salt, fresh black pepper and cinnamon. It was a perfect accompaniment to the rabbit.
But does anyone have any dessert suggestions.
I wonder if you substituted it for the dough, would it taste passable as a lower-carb version of the Greek kataifi.
Come to think of it - has anyone ever baked it after it was cooked to crisp it up - also what would happen if you fried it. - I'll maybe see if I can do an omelette with the leftovers tomorrow morning - oh drat! The cinnamon!
My little girls love it with simply some olive oil and grated parmesan, and salt and pepper. I then sprinkle some red pepper flakes on top for the adults.
My fool proof way to microwave it: Halve the squash and scrape out the seeds. Put one half in a glass dish, cut side down. Place the other half on top of it, cut side down. Put about a half an inch of water in the dish and cover tightly with cling film. Microwave for 14 minutes. Then simply remove, and shred all the spaghetti out with a fork. Toss with whatever you want!
I actually cook with spaghetti squash often, especially if my husband is low carb'ing it. This is probably the recipe I use the most because it's so quick and easy, and the microwave technique is great for cooking the squash.
We've had it many other ways also, including with pasta sauches such as tomato, mozzarella, and basil, spaghetti sauce and meatballs, mushrooms and marsala, light cream sauces, and butter and fresh herbs (your idea of pancetta and sage sounds delicious).
Thanks for all the helpfull advice!
We made our first spaghetti squash this evening and my son absolutely loved it. I will definitely make it again (in fact we bought another today so I'll do it soon!) but I did find that while it's a really cool veg for kids it's the blandest squash I've tasted.
I hadn't had a chance to buy ingredients to try the recommended preparations so I wound up sticking with my initial plan and I think it worked well. I sauteed a couple slices of chopped pancetta, then added finely chopped walnuts and sage. Next I added the squash threads and seasoned with pepper and nutmeg. Lastly I added parmigiano reggiano.
I really liked it and so did he. Husband travels during the week but it was right up his alley so I think that he'll like it too.
Next time I'm going to go with the morroccan flavors from the epicurious recipe. But I've got to rethink my squash cooking method. I found several sites online that said that the microwave was actually the best way to cook spaghetti squash so I tried it that way. The instructions said to piece the squash all over with a small knife. I did that, but I must not have done it correctly because the squash exploded. It was making strange noises before it exploded and some liquid was oozing outof the tiny piercings. I think that I have to pierce it much deeper than I had. But it also cooked much faster than it was supposed to, I'm not sure if that's related to my shallow piercings or simply because my microwave may be strong.
I often wonder if calling spaghetti squash, “spaghetti” is so great. But it is, and some people do use it in place of pasta, just keep in mind it will not absorb the sauce. For myself I use it as a vegetable side dish, and season it accordingly. If you want to add a sweet touch to the meal it can be sweetened, adding complementing herbs is a great idea and it is nice just seasoned and served. It adds a great contrasting texture to almost any plate. Let me congratulate you on having a son who is willing to experiment with new foods and suggest in this case you serve it in a way you think will lead him to enjoy his new find, maybe a little sugar, honey or maple syrup. And let him play with his food, they are kind of fun to shred.