I have a new love in my life and it is spaghetti squash, which has brought culinary pleasure to my taste buds. Who would think that a squash could bring such happiness? I was skeptical at first, because the only spaghetti I have known is pasta, but this squash has proven to be very versatile in my kitchen. Let me tell you about my newly found squash.
- They average from 4-8 pounds and are cylindrical shaped.
- Their peak season is early fall through winter.
- Spaghetti squash is typically pale ivory to pale yellow in color, but orangetti squash has a bright orange color and is just as delicious.
- It is high in beta carotene.
- Most importantly, a 1 cup serving of spaghetti squash is only 42 calories.
Now you’re probably thinking, “How do I cook this squash?” Below are a few suggestions for ways to prepare this delicious veggie.
- Bake it. Pierce the whole shell several times with a large fork or skewer and place in baking dish. Cook squash in preheated 375˚F oven, approximately 1 hour or until flesh is tender.
- Boil it. Heat a pot of water large enough to hold the whole squash. When the water is boiling, drop in the squash and cook for 20 to 30 minutes, depending on its size. When a fork goes easily into the flesh, the squash is done.
- Microwave it. Cut squash in half lengthwise and remove seeds. Place squash, cut sides up, in a microwave dish with 1/4 cup water. Cover with plastic wrap and cook on high for 10 to 12 minutes, depending on size of squash. Add more cooking time if necessary. Let stand covered for 5 minutes. With fork, "comb" out the strands.
- Slow cooker or crock-pot method. Choose a smaller spaghetti squash (unless you have an extra large slow cooker), so that it will fit. Add 2 cups of water to slow cooker. Pierce the whole shell several times with a large fork or skewer and add to crock pot. Cover and cook on low for 8 to 9 hours.
After using any of the above methods to cook your squash, let it cool for 10 to minutes so it will be easier to handle. Then, cut in half (if it wasn't already) and remove the seeds. Pull a fork lengthwise through the flesh to separate it into long strands. You can do these steps ahead of time and then make a delicious spaghetti squash recipe whenever the mood strikes.
These are my most favorite ways to eat spaghetti squash:
- Use it as you would use your usual spaghetti and just add your favorite tomato sauce.
- Sauté it in a pan with a little olive oil and garlic. This makes a great side dish.
Welcome to the world of spaghetti squash. Below is my most favorite recipe. Please enjoy and stay in touch at Riare43a@aol.com.
Pesto Spaghetti Squash with Mozzarella
1 spaghetti squash, cooked and separated into strands
1 tbsp olive oil
3/4 cup pesto sauce
4 oz smoked or plain mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium high heat, add spaghetti squash. Using a couple of forks to lift, mix in pesto. Cook just long enough to heat through. Mix in cheeses. Heat until everything is well mixed and cheese is beginning to melt. Serve immediately.