Monday, November 4, 2013

The Amazing Spaghetti Squash

Now that Fall is upon us once more, winter squash has taken over the vegetable section at the grocery store. I love acorn, butternut and delicata squash, however my husband does not. I therefore do not often buy it. For a while now I have been hearing about how great spaghetti squash is, but had not thought too much about it, thinking that it was probably on the sweeter side and that it wouldn't go over so well at dinner. Oh yeah, have I mentioned my husband is Italian?

I finally bought one a few weeks ago and gave it a shot, telling him several times that it was fine if he didn't like it and that he could eat the left over Thai food if he just couldn't choke it down. Well... it was AMAZING!! We both loved it so much that we had it for lunch the next day and he has requested it several times since. In fact we just had it again last evening. One of the best things about spaghetti squash is that you get that nice, satisfying taste of spaghetti but without the heavy feeling and tiredness that a full bowl of pasta can bring on.

So, even if it sounds crazy to substitute a squash in place of your beloved pasta, just give it a try anyway; you may be pleasantly surprised. If my Italian, pasta loving husband loves it so much, chances are good you may too. And if you're worried about it being a total failure, than have a back up frozen pizza on hand that you can bake in 15 minutes :)

Here is how I make it.

Preheat the oven to 350.
 (See the bottom for an alternative cooking method)

I look for a squash that has a nice yellow color to it and that feels heavy for it's size. A medium sized squash makes enough for us to have dinner and lunch for the next day.

Wash the squash and poke a few holes in it. I use the tip of a sharp knife and poke about 8 holes.
Set the squash on a tray covered in foil (this just makes for easier cleanup) and place it in the center of the oven. Set the timer for 30 min. After 30 min flip the squash over and set the timer for another 30 min. Flipping the squash helps it to cook evenly all the way through. I did not do this the first time and there was a big squishy spot on the bottom where it had rested on the pan for an hour.

Let the squash cool for about 5 minutes then cut in half. Remove the seeds, then use a fork to gently pull apart the strands of the squash. They look just like noodles!! It's pretty cool :)

We like our spaghetti squash with red sauce (I like to get Newman's Own - it's delicious and all their proceeds go to charity), turkey meatballs and some parmesan cheese.

           Buon appetito :)
 I hope your family loves this meal as much as mine does!

**You can also cut the squash into quarters and and steam it for about 10 minutes**

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