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Jan 7, 2009 07:59 AM

Spaghetti Squash?

I have never tried this; but a grab bag organic basket delivery this week will finally get one inside my kitchen. How do I deal with it? Easy, please, but tasty. We love garlic, onion, etc. Trying to stay off pasta for weight's sake. Suggestions welcomed!

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  1. Treat it like all other winter squash. Cut it in half and scoop out the seeds, sprinkle with olive oil, salt pepper, whatever herbs/spices you might like. Roast it in a 350 oven until it's tender enough to pierce with a knife. When you're scooping out the seeds you'll likely already notice some of the strands - that part that later becomes the "spaghetti".

    Some recipes will tell you to roast it face down in a pan of water but I think that's entirely unnecessary and it just dilutes the flavor more than roasting it without the water bath.

    Once the squash is done and cooled for a few minutes take a fork and scrape the flesh out of the shell, lengthwise. It will fall apart into the spaghetti-like strands that give it it's name. From there you can simply eat it plain or mix it in with other things that you like. You say you love garlic, onion, etc.? Saute some onion, until it's brown, add some garlic once the onions are brown and then toss in the spaghetti squash. Saute everything together until the squash is warmed through (if it's even cooled down at this point) and you're good to go. It's a great vegetable and it's very versatile. You can literally mix it into all kinds of things. Sausage, peas, mushrooms and spaghetti squash was a nice dinner for me a couple weeks ago. A good shaving of parmigiano over the top and it was quite hearty.

    1 Reply
    1. re: HaagenDazs

      This is a great, and easy weeknight recipe for spag squash. I've made it a couple times already this year. Go with what the commenters say and roast it whole instead of the microwave route in the recipe:

    2. Spaghetti squash doesn't taste at all like wheat pasta, but can be used in a similar way. It can take on stronger flavours (ie habanero slices, miso) than traditional pasta because of its bold, sweet, flavour and crunchy texture. We've used a heavier hand for seasoning--more cracked pepper, fennel, etc., with saltier, stinkier, slightly bitter or grassier cheeses (parmesan, hunter's cheddar--yeah! gorgonzola and creamier, sweeter cheeses like brie--nay). Mild cheeses such as fresh mozzerella and ricotta were completely overpowered by the flavour of the squash.

      If you can, cut the squash in half, pull out the seeds (put seeds into a deep cup of water to separate from strands; the seeds will rise to the top and can be dried and eaten raw like pumpkin seeds, or toasted; I usually spread them on a pan and put that onto a radiator for drying)

      Most recipes seem to call for roasting the squash facing up, but I have them facing down to assist with steaming. In the oven, it takes about 45 minutes at 375F; in the microwave, 20.
      (it can baked or microwaved whole, but there's always the potential for explosion even after adding steam holes with a fork or knife). Let it sit for 10-20 minutes, or until you can hold a half with a gloved hand and a fork to separate the strands to put onto a platter.

      Minimally, drizzle with olive oil, fresh pepper and sea salt, and enjoy.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Caralien

        I'm a single, so I take my cleaver and hack off rounds of squash, scoop the seeds out of the middle, and then cook for about 5 minutes in the microwave loosely covered with about 2 teaspoons of water, then shred with a fork to get the strands out. After that, I cook with whatever flavor combo I would enjoy with, say, a zuchhini squash.

      2. Spaghetti squash is one of the most enjoyably versatile winter squash varieties I am acquainted with. I've known some who use boiling as a cooking method but I wouldn't recommend that because it picks up too much water and that makes it difficult to use without leaving a puddle of liquid deal with.
        I bake mine, cut side up for down doesn't seem to make any difference. HaagenDazs pretty much said it all so you can use the suggestions in that post to prepare it. Like others, I've found that it goes well with just about anything you might think of putting on the pasta spaghetti plate. We like it tossed with browned butter and chopped basil with a sprinkling of Parmesan or other cheese (Mitzithra cheese is especially good) and some good crusty bread.
        The outer skin is VERY tough so be sure to stabilize it well when cutting through that outer layer during prep.

        1 Reply
        1. re: todao

          "without leaving a puddle of liquid deal with." That's the reason I don't like baking it in water either.

          Also, I had some trouble cutting mine in half the last time I used it too. I ended up cutting some of it and then I kind of pried it apart until it broke into 2 pieces. I got lucky and it broke just about perfectly, but they can be a beast to deal with sometimes - be careful!

        2. I like the micro way to prepare this. It adds spead and convience. I like to add any of the following:
          Maple Syrup
          Brown Sugar

          3 Replies
          1. re: normalheightsfoodie

            "spead" = speed

            Speed is good in a pinch but I prefer the browning that the oven creates assuming you've got the time. You can always broil the squash with a glaze after it's out of the microwave but spaghetti squash isn't a squash that you eat the same way you would maybe a acorn squash.

            1. re: HaagenDazs

              Thanks for the spelling correction, I think you eliminated any confusion that the poster might have had with SPEAD/SPEED. I do use the same type of add-ins that I might with an acorn squash. A dab of marscapone would also be good.

              1. re: normalheightsfoodie

                No problem - I enjoy fixing spelling errors that others tend to use "alot". For those who enjoy puns that's a little spelling humor.

                As for the sugary bits, you can add anything to anything and eat it the way you like. My only point is that people tend to use butter, sugar, etc. to glaze the squash and create a nice brown crust on the surface, like people might with an acorn squash. With spaghetti squash you don't eat it out of the shell that way (although you can if you want to!) so the typical winter squash additions like brown sugar might get lost in the dish unless you really bump up the amount.

          2. Spaghetti squash casserole -- yum. I cut in half and bake it first as above. Meanwhile, I sautee onions, mushrooms, maybe a few other goodies, and mix those with the "spaghetti" strands once the squash is baked. I add some ricotta and parm, some fresh herbs, some chopped tomato, some bread crums and put in a glass baking dish. Bake at 375 about 40 minutes. YUM. I have been making this for about ten years, and brought it to a Thanksgiving dinner last year. A fantastic main course for a vegetarian or anyone!