Disclaimer: spaghetti squash is not spaghetti. People tout this vegetable as being an adequate substitute for pasta but that’s an absurd reach. Pasta’s luxuriousness is capable of putting pause onto the world. Substitutes don’t exist; besides other varieties of pasta. However, spaghetti squash is delectable and a wonderful nest for ragus, proteins, sauces, and other vegetables to lay themselves.
Some people microwave their spaghetti squash. It gets the job done in about twenty minutes. I can handle a few minutes of microwave, but twenty minutes? No thanks to eating radiation and whatever else happens in microwaves. Plus, roasting it turns the spaghetti squash reeeeeeaally sweet and toasty and caramelly and I’m out of words because I’m too enraptured thinking about it. Tantalizing, I know.
We’ll do this post like I do most of my other tutorial-y ones, with step-by step photos.
First, set your oven at 425 degrees F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or foil. Set aside. Get your spaghetti squash and cut it in half. The cutting is easier said than done. Perhaps in the future I’ll do a video. For now, here’s this one. I like to lay a towel down on my cutting board, carefully insert a SHARP knife at the top, and pull it down. I then stick the knife into the cut and continue to make cuts like this until it’s halved. Once you only have a little bit left to cut it’s usually okay to pull it apart. Careful with this step because you could murder yourself in the process.
Remove the seeds from the spaghetti squash with a large, sharp-ish spoon. Place the halves onto a baking sheet and spoon 1-2 teaspoons of cooking fat into them. I like using fats that are solid at room temperature, such as ghee or coconut oil. I quickly stick the spaghetti squash right side up into the oven, let the fat melt for a minute, remove it, then quickly rub it on all over and put it back in the oven.
Now they’re ready to be roasted face down. (Alternatively, if you have a fat that is liquid, then just rub it right on the halves and stick them in the oven face down)
Roast the halves until the meat is browned and caramelized and the tops have a few brown spots, about 45 minutes to one hour. Be careful as you remove them from the oven and you try flip them because steam will hit you right in the face and hands. We are all familiar with the weird phenomenon that steam is hotter than water. So weird.
Flip the halves carefully and let them cool a bit. Let that mean steam evaporate into the air. Test the squash with a fork to make sure it’s cooked through. A fork will easily pierce the meat of the squash and you should be able to pull some of the meat from the skin.
When the halves are cool enough to handle, take a fork and scoop out the delicious insides. It’s easy, just pull the meat with the fork and it will magically reveal itself into the “spaghetti” like strands. Season them with salt and pepper, and eat them whichever way you like.
Personally, I love it as a simple side dish with salt, pepper, garlic powder, coconut aminos, and fish sauce. Or tossed with chimichurri. You can also use it in any recipe that calls for pasta but remember, it’s not pasta! It’s also great with a meat sauce, chili, in a quiche or frittata with other herbs, or as a pad thai-ish dish. Enjoy.
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Being healthy starts with learning to cook simple foods in easy, delicious ways with approachable and practical recipes and techniques.
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