Look, in the bowl! It’s spaghetti…it’s squash…it’s spaghetti squash! Admit it, you totally thought it was pasta. This deceptive vegetable has become one of my new go-to faves. Among the many resolutions floating around this time of year is the vow to try new foods. That, coupled with my very first Fresh Direct order, lead to a spaghetti squash landing on my kitchen counter.
I didn’t have any recipes in mind, I really just wanted to try it and see how it worked. Butternut squash is delish, so I figured I’d be in good shape. With January health mode in full swing, I was looking forward to a completely carb-free ‘pasta’ dish. But I had absolutely no idea what to expect.
The whole procedure started out like a scene from a horror movie as I plunged a giant chef’s knife hearty squash. I painstakingly pierced its thick skin with a fork to allow the interior to fully cook. It really couldn’t be easier to prepare — once you’re finished hacking it in half of course. You simply place it face down on a baking pan and pop it into the oven for about half an hour. I’d say it’s as easy as boiling water, but guess what, you don’t even have to do that for this spaghetti.
The heat from the oven renders the squash impossibly tender and soft. But it’s not until you run a fork through the baked flesh that it begins to earn its name. Long strands of squash flake off in piles of what looks exactly like al dente pasta. I don’t know who first decided to roast this type of squash and shred the insides, but that person deserves a medal. Or a big delicious plate of spaghetti squash. I tossed it with a slow cooked tomato sauce, a pinch of basil, and a sprinkling of mozzarella cheese. Granted, the squash does serve as a vehicle for the zingy sauce, but it stands up on its own as well. Does it taste exactly like real pasta? No. Is it delicious, fresh, and different? Totally. And it’s versatile too! I had plenty of left over undressed squash, so the very next night I sauteed it with stir fry vegetables like mushrooms, sugarsnap peas, and onions, added a bit of soy sauce, and dined on a heaping feast of Asian-inspired spaghetti squash. Obviously I am on the verge of developing an unhealthy obsession with this healthy alternative option…