Spaghetti squash is too often overlooked by the home gardener as too plain or common. This is unfortunate because it is a marvel for very tasty dinners which just happen to be quick and easy to prepare. In 30 minutes – from start to finish – you can have a hot and delicious fresh meal with a spaghetti squash and just a couple of other ingredients.
The flavor is very slightly sweet, more so than real pasta, making it an ideal base to pair a tomato or pesto sauce with. If you’ve made some sauce ahead of time, then you’ve got a fully home-made meal that will satisfy three to four people in a half hour from start to sit-down, with only about ten minutes of hands-on time. Another option is to use a quality store-bought sauce and dress it up with seasonings or balsamic vinegar and olive oil to make it a bit more special.
Here’s what you could grow in your garden for this recipe – Spaghetti Squash!
- 3 - 4 pound spaghetti squash, whole
- 3 - 4 cloves roasted garlic (optional)
- Olive oil and balsamic vinegar to taste (optional)
- Freshly grated Parmesan, Pecorino, Asiago or other hard grating cheese (optional)
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Place whole squash in a covered steamer basket.
- Cook for 25 minutes or until a knife easily cuts through flesh. Often the rind will pop right around the 25 minute mark.
- Remove steamer basket and rinse under running cold water until squash is just cool enough to handle, but not cold.
- Slice squash in half, remove seeds and smaller pulp in center cavity, and then remove rind.
- Shred flesh into long strands with fork or fingers.
- Add salt to taste to bring flavor of squash up.
- Serve hot with pasta or pesto sauce, add diced garlic cloves, olive oil and balsamic vinegar and/or grated cheese if desired.
Starting off with Spaghetti Squash and friends…
It is steamed whole for about 25 minutes. The rind popped at about this time, letting me know it was close. The spaghetti squash was removed from the steamer basket and rinsed under cold running water so it could be handled.
The seeds are removed with a spoon or scraper, then the shell or rind is removed.
Using tongs, forks or your fingers, shred the squash into its namesake spaghetti strand appearance.
A couple of minutes later, this is what you’ll have! Ready for sauce.
A generous serving of home-made pasta sauce that was previously made, some grated Italian cheese and you’ve got an easy and delicious meal!
The next night we used a pesto sauce with Feta cheese and sun dried tomatoes and it was also exceptional.