I’ve been eating spaghetti squash for as long as I can remember. It’s cheap and interesting and for the low to no carb crew, yes it makes a pretty good substitute for spaghettini. They way my mother used to cook it was to make a mixture for meatballs and create a loaf in the hollowed center. The meat and the squash take about the same time to cook and when it was done she would serve with marinara sauce and garlic bread. I loved this as a kid, but obviously I do not consume meat products anymore. I still love this squash though, and if you are thinking ‘ewww I hate squash’, please think again. The texture is more like pasta, and the flavor is mild and not as sweet as squash usually is. One medium spaghetti squash is good for two people as a meal and four as a side dish. I often take it for lunches, or eat it as a night snack as it’s low in calories and little carbs.
Introduction to Spaghetti Squash
- 1 medium spaghetti squash
- olive oil
- salt and pepper
- asiago cheese (optional)
- a good sharp knife,tin foil, a cookie sheet and cooking spray
Pre-heat oven to 350 F
Prepare baking sheet with tin foil and cooking spray. You can put it directly on the sheet but I like it for an easy clean up once you have scrapped out the flesh of the squash.
With a very sharp knife I start a cut in the middle extending through and to the back of the squash. Try to be as even as possible as it will effect your cooking time. I then rotate the squash and finish the cut line, so I have two halves lengthwise. If there is an uneven patch you want to straighten it out as you need it to lie flat on the sheet to create a seal.
With a spoon remove the seeds. If you decide to try stuffing it, you will need a shallow baking sheet then then once stuffed, cover the whole squash in tinfoil.
Place squash cut-side down on sheet and place in middle rack of the oven. Depending on the size and the heat of your oven, most take 40-50 minutes, but I would suggest you check around 30 minutes just in case. You really don’t want to overcook it otherwise you loose the texture that makes it so unique. Flip it so it’s cut side up to check it’s done-ness and the fork should pierce it easy in the thickest part.
Once it’s done , remove from the oven, turn cut side up to release the steam and slow the cooking. In about 5-10 minutes it should be cool enough to touch. Once you can handle the squash, with a fork (ONLY) start to remove flesh with the grain of the squash. I usually start in the middle and drag to the center until all the flesh comes from the sides and is piled in the middle.
You can serve with tomato sauce, or a veggie bolognese but my favorite way is the simplest. I just toss it with salt, pepper, olive oil and if I have it, about 1/4 cup of grated asiago cheese. You could also use Parmesan or pesto I just like the nutty sweet flavor of asiago with squash.