Ideas For Cooking With Spaghetti Squash

If an online culinary course has inspired you to look for a low-calorie alternative to pasta, spaghetti squash is a great choice. This versatile gourd can be incorporated into a wide variety of recipes. Bring home a firm specimen with a creamy yellow shell and get started.

Cooking the squash
To transform this winter squash into something resembling angel hair pasta, you must first roast it. According to the Kitchn, you should preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and cut the gourd in half. Remove the seeds before setting the halves face down in a roasting pan.

Next, place the squash in the oven for 30 to 45 minutes. Michael Chiarello recommended adding some flavor to the gourd by seasoning it with a quarter cup of extra-virgin olive oil, gray salt and black pepper. Remove the pan when you are satisfied with the flesh’s tenderness. Scrape out the spaghetti-like strands with a fork and they are ready to be used in your dish.

Pasta substitute
For a simple side dish, you can just toss the strands in some olive oil or butter. However, with its mild flavor and pasta-like appearance and texture, the squash will work well with many of your favorite sauces. You can pour on a traditional marinara, such as the version presented by the New York Times. This tomato sauce features garlic, Kosher salt, fresh basil and a dried chili pepper.

Martha Stewart Living suggested mixing some of the same ingredients you would use to make a pesto to bring a distinctive taste to the dish. This recipe calls for olive oil, Parmesan cheese, cilantro, parsley, blanched hazelnuts, salt and pepper. Whatever sauce you choose, you can make a heartier meal by accompanying the squash with turkey meatballs. The flavorful recipe recommended by Giada de Laurentiis brings the ground poultry together with breadcrumbs, milk, Parmesan cheese, basil, parsley, garlic, onions, tomato paste, salt, pepper and eggs.

Finding more uses for squash
Spaghetti squash can be more than a low-carb replacement for pasta. You can find many other ways to use the gourd’s flesh as an ingredient. For a simple, satisfying choice, Sprinkle of Green described a “comfort bowl” that also includes broccoli, carrots, onions and and cannellini beans. According to Cookies to Kale, you can even make even make a spaghetti squash pizza crust that is fat, sugar and gluten-free.

Taste of Home offered directions for a casserole. Begin by cooking a pound of ground beef in a skillet with garlic, onions and red pepper. Drain the skillet before adding the squash, along with tomatoes, oregano, salt and pepper. After cooking for a couple minutes, move the ingredients into a baking dish and place in an oven set to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Bake for 25 minutes and top with some mozzarella and parsley before serving.

Spaghetti squash is harvested in the fall, but it keeps for months in cold storage. That means you can readily find the gourd in your grocery store’s produce section through the spring months. Pick one up today, and try incorporating it into your recipes.

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