Foodening Friday – October 17, 2014


Roasted Spaghetti Squash

A perfect balance of sweet and crunch for a chilly fall night!

Roasted Spaghetti Squash!
Serves 2

Preparation time: 20min

Cooking time: 40-50min, depending on your oven

Ingredients:

  • 1 Spaghetti Squash
  • Olive Oil
  • Freshly ground Pepper to taste
  • Sea Salt to taste

Instructions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Start by slicking both of the ends off of the squash.
  3. Scoop out to gushy bits. (I didn’t bother to save the seeds.)
  4. Brush olive oil over the flesh of the squash.
  5. Salt and Pepper to taste, then place the halves flesh side down on a baking pan.
  6. Into the oven it goes! Depending on the quality (age) of your oven, it should take 40-50 minutes to roast.
  7. You’ll know it’s fully roasted if when you stick a fork into the squash’s flesh and gently pull, it comes away easily in ‘strings’. Do one side, then the other or else you’ll end up with very short strings from one side – and mush on the other.
  8. Enjoy with some pasta sauce or as a side to another dish!

Fall isn’t my favourite time of year. The mold, rain and inconsistent temperatures drive my head and sinus’ nuts, and the sun just isn’t strong enough to blow away the feelings of blah. I don’t enjoy many of the more traditional “fall” or harvest flavours. Carrot Cake and Pumpkin Pie are blegh, chai is too spicy and aggravates my tongue. Only the changing blood red Maple leaves, steaming mugs of tea and fragrant apple cider makes me feel even remotely better.

Fall does bring the desire to make home made goodies. Unfortunately, almost without exception, a large number of the recipes I want to try require a food processor/blender to smush everything to the correct texture. So while I wait for a few more paycheques before I drop some money on a new toy, I decided to experiment with some new ingredients.

Namely, the spaghetti squash. And since they were exceptionally cheap at the grocery store this weekend, I snagged one. Of course, I had no idea how to prepare the thing – to Pinterest! Thank you very much to Julia at The Roasted Root for providing a reference for me to follow!

Oct 10_2

After quickly setting the oven to preheat to 400 degrees, I got my resistance training for the day, struggling to cut the ends off and then split the darn squash apart. It was a quick process to clean it out and I may have cleaned a little deeper then necessary, but I don’t think I lost too much tasty flesh…

…Ok, that sounded a little creepy even to me.

Oct 10_3

A quick slap dash of olive oil to coat all the flesh of the squash, liberal sprinkling of fresh ground pepper and some sea salt and I flipped it fleshy side down on a baking tray and popped it into the oven for a good 50 minutes. Supposedly it should have cooked in 40 minutes, but my older-than-I-am oven is, well, old. It has character. Or something.

Still looked right when I pulled it out.

Oct 10_4

Now, here’s the thing about spaghetti squash. You’re supposed to -gently- scrape out the flesh after it’s done cooking, and it magically will become strings of what can be confused for pasta. Either cooking the squash for 50 minutes actually over cooked it, or (more likely) it’s just that complicated to manage to get perfect strings.

One the first half I tried, most of them came off the first side easily, and then disintegrated into mush as I attempted to scrape up the other side. On the second half I scrapped the two sides independently and ended up with far less “mush,” and more recognizable “strings.”

Oct 10_5

Out of a full squash (probably about 2-4 pounds), I got one serving of mostly long (2-3 inches) strings, and the rest were about an inch in length.

Oct 10_6 I paired it with some very basic tomato and basil red sauce I had opened on a previous #AlphaNight (a.k.a., I’m exhausted from 10+ hours of fielding bug reports and questions), and was pleased to discover the sweetness of the sauce didn’t turn the natural sweetness of the spaghetti squash into an overly cloying sweetness. The texture of the squash is slightly crunchy even when fully cooked, similar to that of pasta cooked al dente.

Oct 10_7
No clue what I’m going to do with the rest of the squash, there’s a good almost half of the squash left. So…I guess I have a tasty side dish already prepped and ready to go for the rest of the week. Yay unplanned leftovers!

Oct 10_8
Wonder what good the empty squash husks are…ooo, cat helmet maybe? OR A SQUASH SHIELD!! Oh Meret…where did I stick my camera…

Edit: No, no pictures are available of my attempts that the cat shield. She wouldn’t hold still long enough for me to get it on her AND take the picture. Massive downside to owning a cat and being single.