October 8, 2008

Cooking Spaghetti Squash

It’s fall and that means you have the opportunity to enjoy all the wonderful fall squash varieties that are available at your local grocery store or farmers’ markets. I laugh when I see spaghetti squash in the grocery store because I know most people have no idea how to even cook spaghetti squash. Same goes for acorn squash, butternut, ambercup, banana, buttercup, delicate…the list goes on and on.

Try something new tonight and don’t be shy – pick up one of those funny looking squash at your local market and experience the freshness!

Cooking Spaghetti Squash (this is a very easy recipe a farmers’ market vendor told me this summer)
1 spaghetti squash
2 heads of garlic
Salt and pepper to taste
Olive oil and vegetable oil
Vegetables, meat or cheese (Your choice)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Halve raw spaghetti squash with a sturdy sharp knife, scoop out and discard.. Place halves onto an oven safe cooking dish face up. Clean heads of garlic and thinly slice garlic.Spread garlic into the bowl like shape of the squash, salt and pepper vigorously, drizzle with a 50/50 mixture of olive oil, and vegetable oil (get the oil everywhere inside the squash).

Place onto the upper middle rack of the oven for about 30-40 minutes. (You will know it is ready when the squash separates with little resistance from the skin). Remove from oven, and place in coldest location possible for at least 20 minutes, before separating from skin. Use a fork to scoop and separate squash strands, add any other ingredients you like at this point. I like to put everything together and place in a cooking dish and bake in the oven for a little while so the cheeses can melt.

Parmesan, Romano, or Pecorino, Feta, are all excellent additions to this dish, as well as, meat, sausage, veggies, olives, the list is endless. My personal favorites are veggies with feta cheese. I like to also sprinkle in some basil-dried seasonings. Enjoy!

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