Sauteed Spaghetti Squash

Spaghetti squash is one of those weird, fun, tasty miracles of biology.  Does it taste like pasta?  Nope.  It tastes like buttery, delicious squash, but without the mushy squash texture.  So it does pair great with whatever you would pair pasta with, but if you don’t expect it to BE pasta, you can appreciate the deliciousness that it is.

Most recipes for cooking the squash call for cutting it in half first.  I can tell you that unless you have a handy-dandy kitchen reciprocating saw, that will be both enormously hard work and a little dangerous.  The good news is that it’s entirely unnecessary.

To cook the squash, simply jab it a dozen times all over with a sharp fork or paring knife to allow it to release steam.  Then place it on a plate or glass pie dish and stick the whole thing in the microwave for 7 minutes.  Use hotpads to roll it over onto the other side, and microwave for another 5 minutes.  If it is a small squash, shave a minute off each of those times.  Leave the door shut, and let it sit for another 10 minutes.

You can also roast it whole in the oven for an hour, if you are microwave-less.  It is done when a knife goes all the way to the center without much resistance.

Continue to use hotpads to handle it, but it should be fairly easy now to slice in half with a large knife.  Scoop the super-stringy, darker threads and seeds from the middle, then use a fork to shred the squash flesh into spaghetti-like strands.  Try a large spoon to scrape the last bits out if they adhere to the rind.

This basic pile of squash shreds will keep in the fridge for 5 days, and re-heats beautifully in the microwave or stovetop.  It’s another good option to make on a Sunday and throw together into a quick side dish or packed lunch all week.

Now for the sauteed squash:

Ingredients (2 large side servings):

Shreds from 1/2 cooked spaghetti squash (about 2-3 cups, loose)
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 Tablespoons minced onion
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley*

*Also try fresh basil and oregano, or add fresh sage while the garlic is cooking, or use a curry spice mix.

Recipe:

Heat olive oil in a large pan on medium-high heat
add garlic and onion, and fry until fragrant (30 seconds)
add spaghetti squash
Cook and stir for 2-3 minutes until squash is tender (add additional oil if sticking)
Add fresh parsley and cook an additional minute
serve warm; reheat leftovers in pan

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