Don't get me wrong I do occasionally enjoy pasta, though I'd much rather eat my empty calories in macaroni & cheese, but my hips hate it! That is why spaghetti squash is one of my best friends. I really love all squash and this is probably my third favorite after butternut and acorn. Once you cook it you can scrape the insides to produce spaghetti like strands of squash that are yummy and a great substitute for nutrition-less pasta.
Be careful with smaller squashes because they will explode. No joke. Last week I was preparing some other things for the dish when I heard a loud POP! I opened the microwave to find this...
Yea...so just watch out on the cooking time! Once it's cooked slice it in half lengthwise, scoop out the seeds and some of that weird junk like pumpkins have. Then scrape away for tons of delish spaghetti strands. You can use them like regular noodles and top them with sauce or mix them up with additional ingredients. I made two different casseroles with them recently to give you some ideas.
The first was a Southwestern dish inspired by this recipe. Unfortunately when my squash exploded I couldn't stuff it anymore so decided to mix everything up into a casserole. This was an awesome combination and I'll definitely be making it again. In addition to the recipe I topped it with some avocado and a bit of Greek yogurt (as a sour scream sub).
|Isn't that just gorgeous?|
This was one was super easy. Pop your squash in the microwave and while it's cooking chop up two tomatoes and cut fresh mozzarella into small cubes. Transfer your cooked "spaghetti" to a large bowl and mix with these ingredients, add basil (I only had dried but it worked) and a handful or two of spinach. Next time I would definitely chop the spinach up some. Actually I'd chop up some onion and garlic and sautee it along with the spinach to break it down some. Trial and error!
Save some of the mozz cubes (or cut larger pieces...) and after transferring this mix to a casserole dish (8x8 worked great) throw the cheese on top. Bake for 15 minutes and then broil for two to let the cheese get extra gooey and the veggies crispy.
After starting this post I realized that over a year ago I posted about making "Easy Breezy Pasta Caprese", how funny? I went back and read it and the beginning of the post is pretty much identical. At least I'm consistent right?
Have you tried spaghetti squash? If you've cooked with it what some of your favorite ways to prepare and eat it?