Monday, September 26, 2011

Spaghetti squash

Spaghetti squash strands might look like pasta, but they don't act like pasta. The biggest difference is that they don't absorb moisture. Meanwhile the sauce doesn’t cling to the squash, so you’re left with a watery sauce and strings of squash that don’t taste like pasta, no matter how good your imagination.

After a couple more failed attempts at making spaghetti squash behave like spaghetti, I ignored it  - even avoided it. I saw no reason to keep wasting good spaghetti sauce.

It took a lot of years before I changed my opinion, and it all started with a change of attitude. I finally realized that spaghetti squash isn't a sub-par substitute for spaghetti - it's a unique vegetable. It's got a texture that's not like any other squash, and when treated with the respect it's due, it can be very interesting.

Spaghetti Squash with Mushrooms

1 small spaghetti squash
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
1 small green pepper, cored, seeded, and diced
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cloves garlic, finely diced
1/2 teaspoon dried sage or several fresh sage leaves, finely chopped
1 pound mushrooms, sliced
1 tablespoon butter (optional)
6 small tomatoes, halved or quartered

Cut the spaghetti squash in half and remove the seeds and stringy bits from the center. Put the squash cut-side down on a microwaveable baking dish. Add about an inch of water. Microwave on high until it has softened, about 15 minutes.

While the squash is cooking, heat the olive oil on medium heat in a large pan. Add the onions and peppers. Cook until the vegetables begin to soften add the salt, garlic, sage, and mushrooms. Cook until the mushrooms lose their moisture and it is mostly evaporates.

When the squash is done cooking, use a fork to scrape out and separate squash strands. Add them to the pan with the other vegetables. Add the butter (if using) and cook briefly, stirring to break up mix the squash with the vegetables.

Transfer the squash to a serving dish and garnish with the tomatoes.


Sara said...

I really love spaghetti squash too, although I agree it is definitely not a spaghetti substitute! But I really enjoy the flavor and the interesting texture! :)

Anonymous said...

This is definitely going on the menu. We love spaghetti squash!

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