Thursday, October 10, 2013

Baked Spaghetti Squash with Garlic & Butter

Let's just say spaghetti squash and I have an unfortunate history.  You see, my senior year in college I was taking this ghastly Flight class taught by a former NASA physicist (I was a political science kid, and as we can all plainly see from current events, those who focus on politics decidedly do NOT excel in maths and sciences), and on my lab days my roommate knew to have a cocktail ready for me when I walked into the apartment.  Yes, the class was really that bad, especially when you never actually took a physics class in your life.  So on this one occasion she greeted me with a rather interesting "cocktail" of Crystal Lite and vodka, and not just any vodka, but that Vladimir vodka that comes in the giant plastic jugs and is probably just straight kerosene or distilled windshield washer fluid. *shudder*  Then to top it all off, she'd made dinner, and it was spaghetti squash with marinara.  Oooo, I'd never had spaghetti squash before but as a vegetarian at the time I was excited for this new veggie to enter my life.  Well, I'm not rightly sure what she did to the squash, because I saw a baking sheet and yet I also saw a pot of water on the stove that looked like it had recently boiled up something.  But what was hiding under the marinara was a gelatinous glob of goo, so methinks it got boiled like pasta.  Eek!  Two sips of the cocktail and maybe 3 bites of the squash travesty and it was coming back up to greet me.  So needless to say, dinner was over and I avoided spaghetti squash for years.

But fear not, when done right, it is amazing!  One of the most common and tastiest preparations is to slice the squash in half lengthwise, and then pour olive oil or melted butter on each half and season with a generous amount of brown sugar and cinnamon, before baking till golden brown.  But if you're looking for something a little less sweet and a little more savory, or even something that can serve as the base for an entree, then doing a simple garlic and butter preparation is the way to go.  This would be great tossed with some sauteed chicken to turn it into a full meal, or simply use it as an alternative to a pasta side dish.

Baked Spaghetti Squash with Garlic & Butter


1 spaghetti squash
2 Tbsp butter (or Earth Balance margarine for dairy-free)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup parsley or basil, minced
Kosher salt and ground black pepper, to taste
Dash of red pepper flakes
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded (or Go Veggie! vegan parm for dairy-free)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Pierce the squash a few times to allow for ventilation, and then place whole on a baking sheet and bake for 1 hour, or until a paring knife can easily be inserted.  Set aside and allow to cool for at least 10 minutes.

Once squash is cooled, cut in half lengthwise and scoop out the seed portion.  Then using a fork, scrape out the flesh so you have stringy "noodles".  If it's hard to scrape, place back into the oven and bake for an additional 10 minutes or more until the squash will easily shred with a fork.  Set shredded squash aside and discard skin.

In a skillet, heat butter over medium high heat.  Add in garlic and saute for 1-2 minutes.  Toss in shredded squash, parsley and seasonings, and toss to evenly coat.  After about a minute, add in your parm and toss to fully incorporate.  Cook for an additional minute and then remove from heat to serve.

No comments:

Post a Comment