Monday, October 26, 2009

On Trial: the spaghetti squash

Kind of like how I love pumpkins, I think all squash are very, very cool (except butternut squash, whose taste I despise, although it is beautiful). I don't really ever know what to do with squash, so I usually end up just looking at them with wonder and awe. But, when I was at Trader Joe's last week (don't you love that I can say that now?!) they had some spaghetti squash for $2.79-- total! not per pound! So I decided to snag one and try it out.

First, Bria snuggled and kissed the thing and called it her baby.

Then we cut it open. I tried it with no success,

so I snatched my man and had him use his brawn to muscle the thing open.

Then I was deeply concerned with what I found inside.

But then I decided it was normal. Those things weren't worms, like I feared, but rather seeds turning all sprouty. I figured it was ok. So I scooped out the squash's innards.

Then I rubbed in a little olive oil, (kosher) salt, and (freshly-ground black) pepper.

While the squash relaxed in the oven, I set to work on some sauce. I decided to spice up a bottle of plain marinara with some veggies.

I sauteed garlic, onion, and zucchini, then added carrots, bell pepper, and tomatoes. Once the veggies started to soften, I added the sauce and let it simmer for a couple minutes.

After an hour in the 350 degree oven (cut-side down), the squash came out all golden and steamy and beautiful.

Once it cooled enough that I could handle the little beast, I set to work with my fork and began scraping out the spaghetti-like strands. It was surprisingly easier than I expected, and it yielded surprisingly more than I expected.

Once the squash shells were hollow, we dished it up with some sauce and, of course, some parmesan.

The verdict: so, so, so delicious! Sam isn't much of a pasta-with-sauce lover, but he adored this (obviously, I know it isn't pasta, but it was a very similar idea). The texture of the squash adds so much more interest than plain spaghetti. There was more bite than pasta, and more to chew. It felt heartier, but it also didn't feel like a big bowl of pasta sitting in my stomach-- it was a surprisingly light meal. It felt healthy and rich, and I loved the flavor. Bria also thought it was fantastic. She ate it plain and with sauce. The tomato sauce was great as well, and I think I will definitely continue adding things to my sauces to make them more interesting. I am interested in trying different sauces on spaghetti squash and see how that translates. It lends itself very well to a tomato-based sauce, but I am not sure how it would mesh with a pesto or creamy cheese sauce. I do think more spaghetti squash is in our future: ca c'est delicieux!


  1. I just clicked on your blog from Segullah, and after reading a couple posts, I had to say that I'm so glad to find someone who actually liked the whole "treating Spaghetti squash like actual spaghetti" thing. I have 2 of them waiting for me to try them out, but I was afraid it would be too weird of a combo with the sauce for the family. Glad to hear it's actually good!
    Oh, and have you ever had CHOCOLATE COVERED JOE-JOES?! Absolutely to die for, but the last time I was in California I couldn't find them anymore. We're in Idaho now, so no Trader Joe's for us. Boo-hoo.

  2. chocolate covered joe-joes are to DIE for! I haven't seen them at my trader joe's here in VA either, which makes me very concerned.

  3. In high school Chris Miller gave me a spaghetti squash. (I know - so random). I haven't had one since and I think I will because of this post! Thanks for rekindling my squash-love!