Meat Free Mondays – Spaghetti with Spaghetti Squash

Shaghetti squash is the forgotten winter squash and I wonder why because it’s probably the easiest of them all to cook.

You can literally do anything to a spaghetti squash — roast it, boil it, steam it or even microwave it — and it’s going to turn out fine just as long as you cook it until it is soft.

Once cooked, simply cut the squash in half, either horizontally or vertically, and remove the seeds. There aren’t nearly as many seeds as other squashes such as pumpkin, acorn or butternut, but save the spaghetti squash seeds because they can be dried, baked and eaten just like pumpkin seeds.

What’s left is a gourd filled with delicious strings about the size and texture of cooked spaghetti. Hence the name.

You can substitute spaghetti squash in any recipe that calls for pasta. The squash’s flavor is slightly sweet but otherwise quite neutral, like spaghetti, and I would be willing to bet many people wouldn’t be able to tell the difference once you coat it with sauce and parmesan cheese.

For this recipe, I used a mixture of whole wheat spaghetti pasta and spaghetti squash. It is a very light, simple and elegant pasta because it’s half vegetable and it’s not smothered in sauce. Instead, just a little whole butter, a little parmesan, some fresh chopped parsley and you are done.

Despite this, it was quite filling and even more nutritious than regular spaghetti because the squash is rich in folic acid, vitamin A, potassium and beta carotene.

Plus, I’m a sucker for any dish that is served in its own shell, like this one. I just find that irresistable.

Spaghetti with Squash

1 medium spaghetti squash (about 3 lb)

1/2 box whole wheat spaghetti, broken in half

1/4 cup fresh chopped parsley

2 TBS grated parmesan cheese

2 TBS whole butter, unsalted

1 tsp fresh oregano (or 1 TBS dry Italian seasoning)

1 clove garlic, crushed

Sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste

1. Use a fork to prick squash in several places. Place on microwave-safe plate and microwave for 8 minutes. Turn squash over and microwave for another 8 to 11 minutes or until soft to the touch. Let it cool. This can be done up to a day ahead of time.

2. Cook spaghetti according to package instructions, drain and return to pot.

3. Cut squash in half and remove seeds and the darker fibers. Use a fork to pull the spaghetti-like strands from the interior of both sides of the squash. They will easily come out. Add 1/2 the squash (save the rest in an airtight container in the refrigerator for another time), butter, herbs, garlic, parmesan cheese and parsley to the pot with the spaghetti and toss so everything is evenly distributed. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

4. To serve, use the squash rinds as bowls, filling them with the pasta mixture. Garnish with additional parmesan and parsley.

Do you have any recipes where the food itself is the vehicle to serve the recipe? I would love to hear about them in the comments section below. And thanks for looking at my blog!

6 thoughts on “Meat Free Mondays – Spaghetti with Spaghetti Squash

  1. Interesting. We make a faux fettucine alfredo with spaghetti squash. Never occurred to me to use the squash noodles with real noodles.
    For food as serving dish, I personally love soup served in a bread bowl.

  2. For whatever reason, the only grocery store near my apartment at school doesn’t sell spaghetti squash during winter, but it’s always when I crave it most since it’s such a comfort food for me! I always have a hard time cutting them in half.. but I always cut them in half before cooking, so maybe I’ll try cooking it then cutting it. =)

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