I’m not going to try and trick you into believing that spaghetti squash is the same thing as pasta.
They’re two entirely different foods – but both are awesome in their own right. I think where people go wrong is that they try to convince themselves that spaghetti squash must replace any and all pasta in their diets. It’s the whole “carbs bad, squash good” caveman mentality.
Sometimes though, nothing beats a big ol’ bowl of pasta…and I say when that craving calls…answer it. You can make yourself spaghetti squash another time. Don’t know how to cook it or where to even begin? Well, you came to the right place.
There are a ton of spaghetti squash recipes out there – and having tried almost all of them – I can confidently tell you that this one is the best. Don’t believe me? Ask my man. It may be the meal that made him get down on one knee. Okay, that may be a bit of an exaggeration, but this is Eric’s favorite thing I’ve ever cooked for him…and I’m obviously no stranger to the kitchen.
True story: when I put this spaghetti squash up on the conveyor belt at the grocery store, the woman in front of me in line excitedly exclaimed, “Oh, what a pretty decoration!”
I couldn’t bring myself to tell her I was going actually to eat that entire giant gourd.
Look at the cute little sticker that was on this squash! Name the movie it makes you think of in 3, 2, 1…
Um, Dirty Dancing, anyone? You know, the 1987 classic with Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey? Specifically, my favorite scene with the ever endearing line “I carried a watermelon!?”
Enough about my
private Patrick Swayze fantasies favorite movies and on with our eats! Sigh.
See those seeds and fibers in the squash on the left? Well, scoop ’em out with a spoon until you get something that resembles what you see on the right. Then, place your squash halves – cut side up – in a glass baking dish with a little water. After you cover the entire thing with plastic wrap, simply microwave the squash for ten minutes. Forget about it for five more minutes – so it can steam some more and cool off a bit – while you handle the other ingredients.
By the way, a lot of recipes will direct you to bake the spaghetti squash in the oven…for an hour. I have tried both cooking methods and I prefer microwaving. Not only does it save a ton of time, but your squash will have a much better, non-mushy texture.
Back to those aforementioned other ingredients! Your onion’s up first – sauté it in some olive oil for a few minutes so that it gets soft and slightly translucent. You can’t quite see it, but we’ve got garlic in there too for good
Time for tomatoes! When I first started making this, I would throw in a can of chopped tomatoes purely out of ease, but after using fresh, I’d never use anything else. Fresh tomatoes add a bright flavor and color to the dish that canned…well, canned just can’t.
By the time you’ve reached this step in the recipe, your squash will be ready for ya. Pull at the flesh with a fork or two, forgive my mildly nauseating instructions and stand back in amazement as you create approximately a million little strands of squash spaghetti.
There’s only one way we can improve upon that pot o’ gold.
Cheese please!! Two types – and lots of them 🙂
Serve this up as a side or be like me and Eric…eat enough to make it your entrée 🙂
Spaghetti Squash Sauté
adapted from All Recipes
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
1 (3-4 lb.) spaghetti squash, halved lengthwise and seeded
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 vidalia onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/4 cup parmesan
1 tablespoon dried basil
1 1/2 teaspoons (more to taste) dried oregano
1 1/2 teaspoons (more to taste) dried parsley
Pierce your spaghetti squash all over with the tines of a fork and microwave for two to three minutes so that it’s easier to cut. Carefully cut the squash lengthwise and scoop out and discard the seeds.
Place spaghetti squash – cut sides up – in a glass baking dish with a 1/4 cup of water. Cover with plastic wrap and microwave on high for 10 minutes. Allow the squash to remain in the microwave, covered, for another five minutes so that it can continue cooking/cool down.
Meanwhile, heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Saute the onion in oil until tender. Add garlic, and saute for 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes and cook only until they are warm.
Use a large spoon to scoop the stringy pulp from the squash, and add to the pan. Toss with the sauteed vegetables, then add in cheeses and herbs. Serve warm.
I may not have used that squash as a decoration like the lady at the grocery store thought I would, but I’d take a full stomach over a shelf with a squash on it any day. Priorities, people.