Spaghetti Squash (That’s Squash, Not Sauce)
You don’t necessarily have to use noodles to have spaghetti. You could use spaghetti squash. Spaghetti squash is one of the early winter squash varieties and it is a versatile squash. It is fun to serve and eat in a variety of ways but I like it best as a tossed warm salad.
It’s a vegetable, well technically it is a fruit but it can also take the place of pasta.
Spaghetti squash is really fun to eat and it is good for you. It is one of the early autumn squashes that come into season later than the yellow crook-neck and zucchini but is ready for harvest just a little ahead of the other winter squash varieties like acorn or butternut.
This squash got its name because its stringy flesh resembles spaghetti or linguini noodles and you can use it in much the same way; serve it with butter, salt and pepper and a sprinkle of grated cheese, salsa, marinara sauce or spaghetti sauce…it is a very versatile squash. However, I like spaghetti squash best just tossed together with other vegetables and a crumble cheese like feta cheese.
Just plain, spaghetti squash is rather bland like the early squashes but when you dress it up a little it is really delicious and it is good for you. It is low in calories and carbohydrates, is vitamin rich with the B vitamins, vitamin A, beta-carotene, and antioxidants and it is high in fiber. We all need more fiber in our diet than what we normally get.
There are umpteen ways you can serve up spaghetti sauce. You can boil it, fry it, broil it, grill it and bake it. Baking it is my preference and then toss it like a hot salad with other vegetable and cheese. Here is how I fix spaghetti squash.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Lightly grease a baking sheet
Take 1 spaghetti squash and cut it in half lengthwise and scoop out all the seeds
Place the squash cut side down on the baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes or until a sharp knife can be easily inserted into the thickest part of the squash. Remove from oven and set aside. Cool until you can handle the squash without getting burned.
While your squash is cooling some place a skillet over medium high heat
2 Tbsp. olive oil to the pan and sauté
1 large clove garlic minced
1 medium onion chopped medium fine
1/2 cup chopped mushroom pieces
1/4 cup thinly sliced celery sliced crosswise (slice it thin)
1 Tbsp. finely chopped green bell pepper
As soon as the onion starts to turn transparent
1 cup arugula coarsely chopped
1 cup diced fresh tomato
Toss together and sauté until arugula is wilted (about 1 to 2 minutes just long enough for the tomato to warm and the arugula to wilt.)
Use a large spoon and scoop out the pulpy flesh from your cooked squash and put in a serving bowl, toss with sautéed vegetables adding
3 Tbsp. sliced ripe (black) olive
1 Tbsp. fresh basil chopped
1/2 to 3/4 cup crumble cheese (I like to use Feta cheese)
Salt and pepper to taste
Serve with lightly toasted garlic bread and your favorite beverage. This goes wonderful with grilled chicken breast or white fish.