Hi, I'm Jaden, a professional recipe developer, food columnist and food photographer specializing in fast, fresh and easy recipes for the home cook. Most of my recipes are modern Asian! About meFast, fresh & easy recipes for the home cook.
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Say hello to the spaghetti squash.
I gotta say, big squash is intimidating. It’s heavy, hard to peel, hard to cut (hack saw anyone?) and hurts when you drop the bastard on your foot *!@#!*%Y&!!!
But how can you resist that sunshiney-happy-yellow? It will be one of the easiest vegetable dishes you can make. I cook the long strands like I do spaghetti (well, why not!?) and toss it with garlicky butter and shower with parmesan cheese.
In reality, as intimidating as a squash looks, it’s strangely simple to cook. Just plop it on a baking sheet and pierce a few times all around with a sharp paring knife or bamboo skewer. No cutting, no peeling, no marinating, no massaging. Just plop. And carry it to your oven. WITHOUT tilting the pan and dropping it on your foot. According to commenters below…you could also microwave the sucker for a few minutes, slice in half and roast cut-side-down for 30 minutes.
OR — you could just microwave the ENTIRE thing.
But I like baking the best.
Bake 375F for about an hour. Just until you can pierce it easily without resistance with a knife.
Let it cool, then slice open and rake out the seeds.
Then use your fork and scrape away….oooh lookie lookie at those pretty strands. If it seems really hard to scrape out the squash, return to the oven for another 10 minutes. The squash shouldn’t be mushy — taste it — it should still have a nice, slight crunch.
One squash will feed lots of people.
Loads of butter, loads of garlic.
Loads of parsley or basil.
Toss in the squash, season with salt.
And loads of grated parmesan cheese.
Baked Spaghetti Squash with Garlic and Butter
I tend to under-bake the spaghetti squash just a bit, so it still retains just a slight crunch. Baking time really depends on how big your squash is - try to get the smallest one, especially if you’re only feeding 4 people. It’s ready if you can pierce the squash with a paring knife with little resistance. If you’re a garlic love, don’t be shy - use more!
Alternatively, microwave the whole squash for 2-4 minutes (to soften enough to cut lengthwise). Place squash cut-side down on baking sheet and roast for 30 minutes until tender.
Ingredients:1 small spaghetti squash (about 3-4 pounds)
2 tablespoons butter
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1/4 cup finely minced parsley (or basil)
1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese
1. Preheat oven to 375F. Pierce squash a few times with sharp paring knife (to let steam escape). Bake spaghetti squash for 60 minutes, or until a paring knife pierces easily through skin with little resistance. Let squash cool for 10 minutes.
2. Cut squash in half, lengthwise. Use a fork to remove and discard the seeds. Continue using fork to scrape the squash to get long, lovely strands. If the squash seem difficult to scrape, return the squash to bake for an additional 10 minutes.
3. Heat a large saute pan with the butter and the garlic over medium-low heat. When garlic becomes fragrant, add parsley, salt and spaghetti squash strands. Toss well, sprinkle in the parmesan cheese and taste to see if you need additional salt. The spaghetti squash should have a slight crunch (i.e. not mushy) - but if you like it softer, cover the pan and cook 2 more minutes.
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