Ode to an ingredient: spaghetti squash.

With spring officially here, the winter season and its best produce are finally on the wane, and it is now time to express my appreciation for the humble spaghetti squash, a vegetable I have grown to love in many dishes.


My first exposure to this vegetable was through either Seventeen or the now-dead Teen magazine in a diet and exercise section that promoted the squash’s health benefits, its relative ease of preparation and its resemblance to spaghetti when forking out the strands inside the squash (the latter being the biggest draw for me, naturally), but it was before I had any influence (or at least thought I had influence) on what my family ate.  I’m sure now that if I told my mom that there was a vegetable that I wanted to eat willingly, she would have bought the first one she could, but as it went, I only was able to enjoy the glory of the spaghetti squash upon moving to New Haven.

Since then, the preparation has been relatively simple:  halve the squash, poke holes in both the skin and in the flesh, and bake, skin side up on a half-sheet lined with foil, at 425 degrees for 30 minutes (check at 25, depending on the size of the squash and the desired doneness)–the squash should slightly darken in color and appear soft all the way through.  Allow the halves to cool, then scoop out the seeds and discard, and use a fork to separate the threads of flesh and empty into a bowl.

Often we’ll throw the mess of squash into a pan with olive oil, garlic, and either basil or parsley–whatever fresh herbs you have on hand–and throw some Parmagiano-Reggiano on top; other times, Michael will make one of his quick-sauces from a can of petite-cut diced tomatoes.  Either way, it’s an excellent way to get the flavor without the calories (squash is famously low in calories) but still get lots of fiber.  An added bonus:  no need for salad!

  1. i actually have several comments. i will present them in a list format:
    a.) i loved our brief culinary adventures with you two, and i hope there will be more in the future. i’m having a dinner party with some coworkers tonight, basically inspired by a wheatberry salad with sharp cheddar cheese, which is enticing, but would be much more fun if you were here.
    b.) i *love* that you are becoming a featured segment on the news! amazing!
    c.) my company is testing a new cold cucumber dill soup that i find very exciting and delicious. i volunteer for the tastings of this product, mostly so i can figure out what’s in it and try to make my own. no luck so far. i suppose i could just ask the chef, but where’s the fun in that? he is a fellow RIer, and we compare notes about our favorite restaurants and suppliers in providence. 🙂
    d.) i visited my parents’ house last weekend, and she showed me 14 double rows of flourishing garlic in her garden. last summer, she harvested 30 lbs (!!!) of organic, fresh-from-the-garden garlic, 15 of which she replanted, and 15 of which she is gradually working her way through. there seems to be double that this year, and i wondered if perhaps you’d like some! i’m going to get “ultra virgin” olive oil imported from spain, which i discovered can be bought at cost in 3 gallon jugs through kettle, so i have big plans for roasted garlic olive oil. which i will also be sharing.
    ok. end novel.

  2. No! No! The novel should not end! The novel should continue as you give us fabulous garlic bulbs and then we all share in super-cheap Spanish olive oil!!! Yes!!! Yes! Yes! SI!!

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