Spaghetti Squash

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28 Jan Spaghetti Squash

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This shot looks like some form of coral reef species, but it’s actually cooked spaghetti squash.

Many of the sources I’ve read promote spaghetti squash as being “just like real spaghetti!” While it’s similar, it won’t fool anyone. Its translucency makes it look more like rice vermicelli than semolina-based cappellini d’angelo. And its texture? Well, it’s vegetable-like. It’s got a pleasant firmness, but it doesn’t feel like pasta in your mouth.

But on the plate, it holds the sauce beautifully and twirls around your fork like the real McCoy.

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Heck, it can even be a bit unruly, like its flour-based counterpart.

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Despite the similarities, it doesn’t taste like pasta. But it doesn’t taste like squash either. In fact, it doesn’t really have much of as taste. It’s not unpleasant or overpowering or pushy. It just is. Which makes it the perfect vehicle to showcase the toppings. As Cheryl noted about the wheat-free pizza, “Tomato sauce, cheese, veggies — you could put them on wet sand and they’d still taste good.”

So, my spaghetti squash substitution rating? Better than sand — wet or dry.

Wait. I may have put you off with the rating. It’s actually a painless way to add vegetables to your diet while enjoying a classic Italian dish. It’s also easy to make. While the instructions are usually right on the squash’s sticker, the small print can be hard to read. Here’s what I did:

Cooking Spaghetti Squash

  1. Turn oven to 375 F.
  2. Cut squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds.
  3. Place, cut-side-down on a lightly oiled baking sheet.
  4. Bake for 30 to 50 minutes depending on the size of the squash. It’s done when you press on the squash and it gives.
  5. Remove from oven and scrape out the pulp gently with a fork. The squash will separate into strands.
  6. Serve immediately with your favourite pasta sauce and toppings.

I tested it with tomato sauce. Anyone tried it with other toppings?

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No Comments
  • Cheri Sicard
    Posted at 12:49h, 28 January Reply

    I agree with you that spaghetti squash won’t substitute for a true pasta craving, although I read this all the time. Spaghetti squash is kinda like tofu — it can take on flavor from anything you put on it. I have even used it to make a carb free pizza crust (like the pasta it’s not the same, but you get all the pizza flavors). Anyway, if you;re ever looking for more recipes, there’s a lot of them in the Spaghetti Squash feature I did at my website FabulousFoods.com.

    Great post. Than you.

  • Dana McCauley
    Posted at 13:05h, 28 January Reply

    I agree that spaghetti squash doesn’t replace pasta but it is a good way to avoid carbs and to get more fibre while still having a satisfying side dish that fills the void left by pasta. I’m a fan!

  • cheryl
    Posted at 14:53h, 28 January Reply

    Ooh, you quoted me! I’m glad I chose “wet sand” as my comparative descriptor rather than something more profane.

    I still have 2 spaghetti squash on my counter, and I’m seriously SO glad you’ve given me an idea of what to do with them. I’ve never eaten or cooked with them before.

  • Roxanne
    Posted at 17:55h, 28 January Reply

    In my first ever garden, after getting out of college, I grew spaghetti squash. I began to think I was the worst farmer ever because the vines never produced anything. Then, one day, I saw my very young Dalmatian hunkered down in the backyard with something … you guessed it! She had been eating all the squash. Stinker!

  • veggie belly
    Posted at 21:01h, 28 January Reply

    That looks great! I made spaghetti squash with parmesan and capers. I havent tried it with tomato sauce. I’d love to try this!

  • Christie's Corner
    Posted at 11:57h, 29 January Reply

    Cheri, I’d have never thought to use it as a pizza crust. I popped over to FabulousFoods and see you’ve got tons of ideas beyond this gourd.

    Dana, using it as a side is a good idea. I used it as a main, but found it wasn’t as filling as pasta. But that only makes sense when I stop to think about it.

    Cheryl, you are immensely quotable. How could I have resisted. Let me know how the spaghetti squash turns out for you. Hopefully Boy B won’t lump it in with Brussels sprouts.

    Roxanne, that’s hilarious. A squash eating god?! At least someone was enjoying your gardening efforts.

    Veggie Belly, nice to know this squash works with other toppings. I bet sage butter would be divine…

  • R-
    Posted at 03:14h, 30 January Reply

    Recently found your blog and I am enjoying the writing style immensley. I am also enjoying the vicarious cooking experience! I love spaghetti squash! I cook it really quick in the microwave. My method: Cut squash in half lengthwise, take a spoon and scoop out seeds. Place squash cut side down in a glass pie plate (or comparable cooking dish)filled with 1/2 inch water. Cook for 7-10 minutes-until soft.

  • Anonymous
    Posted at 11:26h, 30 January Reply

    Hi,
    Great food ideas on your site. My sister boils the spaghetti squash which does make it lose some of its veggie taste and makes it a teeny bit more like pasta!

  • Christie's Corner
    Posted at 09:51h, 31 January Reply

    R — Thanks for the kind words. I’ve never cooked spaghetti squash in the microwave but it definitely cuts the time down if you’re in a hurry. How does the texture compare? I’m always leery of what a microwave does to veggies, but have never tried squash in it.

    Anonymous, thanks for the tip. I didn’t know you could boil spaghetti squash and will give that a try next time.

  • Bekah
    Posted at 20:39h, 31 March Reply

    I microwaved ours…another easy way to do spaghetti squash!

    http://kitchen-concoctions.blogspot.com/

  • Dazy
    Posted at 09:02h, 27 July Reply

    I'm trying this today. I think I'll try to shoot it, but I don't think it will be as pretty as your picture!

  • Christie's Corner
    Posted at 09:52h, 27 July Reply

    Dazy, let me know how your photos turn out!! I'd love to see them, so don't be shy about posting a link.

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