This weekend I walked the familiar aisles of the produce section. The sunny yellow spaghetti squash sat amongst the acorn and butternut varieties. How had I never noticed this vegetable before? With its bright color it looked more like the sun in a solar system display than part of the squash selection.
The set-it-and-forget-it hour long roasting cooking method is one of the many reasons I am now a fan spaghetti squash. Once out of oven the rest of the dinner preparation is underway and the squash cuts like butter. The vitamins and fiber are an obvious added bonus. The seeds come out with ease and the way the flesh really does resemble spaghetti astonishes me.
Once raked out, I add the flesh into a cast iron pan with just a little olive oil which has been infused with some garlic. Salt, pepper, and some freshly chopped basil makes this a crunchy side to any main dish.
I’m thinking spaghetti (squash) and meatballs is in my cooking future. Nothing against pasta, I just think the added crunch and extra vitamins and minerals of the squash would make it a fun twist on something so traditional.
While this side dish isn’t anything extravagant that is precisely why I enjoy it so much. Just a few ingredients and no fancy cooking skills required. And now that I am employed, I’ll be keeping quick and easy recipes like this on hand for those weeknight dinners and lunch leftovers!
Garlic & Basil Spaghetti Squash
Serves about 6-8 depending on the size of the squash
1 spaghetti squash
a few leaves of fresh basil, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 TBSP olive oil
1/3 cup parmesan cheese (optional)
Preheat oven to 375 F and pierce the squash several times with a knife. Set squash on a baking sheet and place in oven to roast for 60 minutes or until easily pierced with a knife. Let the squash cool until it can be handled.
While squash is cooling, heat a skillet with olive oil and garlic over medium-low heat until fragrant. Slice squash in half lengthwise and spoon out the seeds. Rake the flesh out removing the spaghetti-like strands and transfer flesh to the skillet along with basil. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese if desired. Mix well with tongs and serve.