Baby tomatoes

Baby tomatoes

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Cooking my first spaghetti squash

Can you believe I have NEVER cooked one of these things? That's right- never. I have eaten them, when I was younger my dad, the 1970s version of a foodie, was always on top of the trends and he grew these in the garden a few times. I don't remember how he finished them, I just remember them being in the garden and the kitchen.

Recently spaghetti squash have been in food news quite a lot. A low carb replacement for pasta, it's a big favorite of dieters. Vegans replace pasta made with eggs with this vegetable. It's just a healthy version of something many of us really junk up with meatballs, sauce and gooey cheese. We're not doing that today. In fact, we're going to serve ours as a light vegetarian entree, or a delicious side for a simply prepared grilled meat. A while back I stopped in the Vom Fass store in Des Moines and picked up a jar of their Pesto Rosso- so I'm going to give our spaghetti squash a light toss in some pesto and a hit of fresh herbs.

I can't tell you how delicious this blend of sun dried tomatoes,
extra virgin olive oil, basil, cashews and Grana Padano cheese
is. You need to check it out for yourself. 
But first we have to cook this crazy thing. Many people bake it in the oven- certainly an easy way to do it, but it can take a while, so we're going to get some assistance from Chef Mic (rowave) and get dinner on the table in minutes. Start with a sharp heavy knife and a stable cutting surface. USE CAUTION- winter squash do have a tougher skin and this one is round and oblong and might move on the board. Watch your fingers!  Cut the squash in half lengthwise and use a spoon to remove the seeds- I use a melon baller and it works like a charm.

Place the squash halves cut side down in a glass baking dish, like a pie pan. Cooking them one at a time, microwave on high for 10 minutes. Remove to the cutting board while the second half cooks. When it's cooled for a few minutes, use a fork to separate and remove the thready meat- kind of like raking. You will have beautiful strands of squash that look just like spaghetti. At this point you can use your squash in any recipe you would use cooked pasta- from Italian to Asian noodles. 

I placed my squash "pasta" in a large bowl and tossed with a couple tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, pesto to taste, salt and pepper. When combined, pile into serving bowl and garnish with chopped fresh parsley and a little sprinkle of shredded Parmesan cheese. Served with a pan seared pork loin chop, the squash was so tender and delicious. I wanted more squash and less of everything else!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation nor free product for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I mentioned. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 55: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

1 comment:

  1. We bake ours in the oven then top with spaghetti sauce. Yummy!