Baked Spaghetti Squash with Garlic and Butter


Never before in my life had I seen so many different kinds of squash until I came to the States. Growing up, I only knew zucchini, yellow squash, and funny looking patisson (pattypan squash). I don’t think I even saw a pumpkin “in real life”… (no, we do not celebrate Halloween back home)

In the States I discovered, much to my surprise, that there were two broadly defined types of squash: summer and winter. I quickly figured out that my parents and all our neighbors grew the summer type. The winter type was the one I was unfamiliar with and included acorn, butternut, buttercup, and many other kinds, which were all tougher compared to the gentle summer type.

Spaghetti squash belongs to the winter type. Since this was my first time cooking it and I wanted to try the unadulterated taste of the vegetable, I followed a very simple recipe from Jaden Hair’s Steamy Kitchen. Cooked with few other ingredients, the vegetable is able to truly shine here. It stands well on its own as a light lunch option, or could be a great side dish for roasted pork or meatballs with red sauce.

Oh, and did I mention that nothing compares to the weird, inexplicable pleasure you get when scraping out the shreds? 😉

Ingredients:

  • 1 small spaghetti squash (about 3-4 pounds)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1/4 cup freshly chopped parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
  • 1/4 cup shredded Parmigiano

Directions:

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.

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.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 Parmigiano 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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