Spaghetti Squash

For some strange reason, I’ve been having quite a few conversations about spaghetti squash these days. Apparently, the folks in my orbit haven’t had the pleasure of preparing and eating this delightful vegetable. So I’ve decided to say a few words on its behalf.

When cooked, this mild-flavored squash looks rather like a serving of angel hair pasta. I enjoy eating it with a lite dousing of extra virgin olive oil and Mrs. Dash seasoning. I often use it to replace the pasta in my favorite recipes as one cup of spaghetti squash has a mere 42 calories versus 220 in noodles. Spaghetti squash also delivers essential vitamins and minerals.

To roast spaghetti squash in the oven, start by pre-heating the oven to 375°. Then:

Cut the spaghetti squash lengthwise in half and scoop out the seeds. Drizzle with olive oil and season lightly with salt and pepper.
Place cut-side down on a lightly greased or nonstick cookie sheet. (I use a nonstick liner.) Roast until tender, about 35-45 minutes. A knife should pass easily through the rind and flesh.
Use a fork to scrape out the flesh in long strands. When cooked “just right,” the flesh releases all the way to the rind yet doesn’t taste “mushy.”
Voilà! You’re ready to eat!

If you’re short on time, you can slice, core, and grease the spaghetti squash, and then microwave it for 5-15 minutes, depending on the size of the squash and the microwave’s power output. Or, a pressure cooker can steam a whole, 2-lb spaghetti squash in about 15 minutes. That being said, it’s a little bit messy (and toasty) scraping the seeds out of a cooked spaghetti squash. On the plus side, you don’t have fight with the raw vegetable to get it to split in half.

Not matter how you choose to cook the squash, it takes very little prep and clean-up time. You’ve got to like that!