Make your own “spaghetti”!
Staci Walden, MSCN, RD, LDN
Replace pasta with spaghetti squash now and then as a way to create variety
and to add more vegetables to your weekly intake. Choose a spaghetti squash that has a bit of weight to it, wash the outside so that you do not drag dirt or germs into the flesh when you cut it in half.
Cut the squash in half and remove the inside material filling the natural cavity.
Exercise caution when working around the stem, patience is better than stitches!
Once the inside seeds and connective strands are hollowed out, you can rub the
flesh with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
Place the cut side down in a baking dish (Spaghetti squash does not render much liquid when cooked, but if the cut side stays up the cavity will fill with water and the flesh will steam more than bake.) and bake at 425 until you can easily pierce
through the flesh with a knife. This generally takes 45-75 minutes but will vary
depending on the size of the squash. It is a good idea to spray the baking dish with
oil for easy cleanup.
After a brief cooling down (turn the squash cut side up to cool) the flesh will fall
into strands resembling straight pasta, or spaghetti when raked with a kitchen
fork. You now have the base for any dinner that you would have made with
straight pasta and it can be argued that it reheats better than leftover pasta!
Ideas: here the squash is mixed with sausage, white beans, and spinach (along with
olive oil, garlic, red pepper flakes and a splash of white wine) A basic homemade
tomato sauce is great, spinach, feta and shrimp is delightful, this is a good base for
the Neapolitan dish ‘aglio e olio’ (garlic and oil), just olive oil or butter and
Parmigiano may be a healthier option for kiddos that will only eat plain ‘noodles’.
Happy kitchen adventures!