“Squashing” the Competition

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I’ve been wanting to try spaghetti squash for quite awhile now. Just a few things were holding me back: (1) I couldn’t garner much interest in it and (2) I didn’t have a single clue how to work with spaghetti squash.

After my repeated and persistent requests, Ruth happened across a spaghetti-meets-spaghetti-squash recipe in one of her myriad magazines. The recipe called for mixing (what I would consider to be rather ample portions of) whole wheat spaghetti with half of a large spaghetti squash. We decided to cut out the middle man, so to speak, and go hardcore — spaghetti squash only.

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We also decided that even for our virgin attempt at working with the stuff, we didn’t want to use premade spaghetti sauce. Two regular Julia Childses right here 😉 I minced a few cloves of garlic, sautéed it with diced onion and diced tomatoes in EVOO, and added a dash of oregano and Italian seasoning to form a “sauce” of sorts.

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Obviously, I don’t know how the original recipe would have tasted. I’ll be honest, though, I’m glad we allowed our stomachs to guide us in the pursuit of whole, fresh ingredients.

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If you have never worked with spaghetti squash, I have two recommendations. One, be sure that you have poked enough holes in the damn thing if you will be microwaving it…

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Ours not only split down the middle, it exploded sweet-smelling strands across every possible centimeter of the microwave.

Two, whether you are baking or microwaving the squash, it will be hot when you remove it from the heat source. I used a combination of forks and tongs to remove the seeds, scrape the “spaghetti” from the rind, and remove the strands. The scraping is the easy part; the removal of the strands is a little more complicated. While the rind and the strands are hot, use a hot mitt or clean dish towel to brace the squash while you scrape and remove the strands. Almost the entire squash is usable, so this is what makes the removal a bit difficult.

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One large spaghetti squash makes enough strands for 3-4 people, equivalent to servings of pasta. The “spaghetti” was flavorful and healthy without being overly filling — definitely a keeper! 🙂

Have you ever tried spaghetti squash? If so, what did you do with it?

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