Friday, October 23, 2009

The Goods On Spaghetti Squash

It's autumn in Southern Ontario and that means it's squash season. One of the tastiest yet one of the more overlooked is the Spaghetti Squash. This yellow fleshed delight is easy cook and even easier to eat. The only question is whether to cut before or after cooking. The skin of the Spaghetti Squash is quite tough when raw.

If you cut before baking, it is suggested to clean out the 'guts', cut into two halves and bake for 10 minutes at 350, cut side down. After the ten minutes, flip the halves over and bake for another 20 or so minutes.

If you don't cut, bake at 375 for 1 hour but before putting in the oven, pierce the squash with a sharp knife in a few locations so that the squash does not blow up in your oven. After an hour, take the squash out of the oven and cut in half. Remove the seeds and scoop out the flesh into a bowl.

The reason why it is called Spaghetti Squash is because the flesh separates into thin strips that resemble strands of spaghetti. Form follows function (or, I guess, function follows form...) and one of the best ways to eat the squash is as a substitute for pasta.

The way I like to prepare Spaghetti Squash is by baking the whole squash for an hour while preparing a tomato based sauce on the stove top. I start with some sauteed onions mixed with a cubed zucchini squash. Once the onions have browned, I add a can of crushed tomatoes (or a mason jar of homemade, Italian-style tomato sauce). I add garlic powder, paprika, Italian seasoning, black pepper and turmeric and let the mixture simmer until the squash is done. When all is cooked, I scoop out the flesh from the squash. I put a serving on a plate then cover it in the sauce.

The Spaghetti Squash is not a essential nutrient powerhouse but does contain a decent amount of fiber, vitamin C, vitamin B6 and Manganese. The seeds can be roasted in the same manner as you would Pumpkin seeds and have a very similar taste.

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