There are fun veggies out there and spaghetti squash is one of them.
Here you have a thin but hard shell squash, half the size of a football, that when cooked yields long golden strands of squash fiber. Schneider
describes the flavor as slightly sweet, fresh, and mild to bland, a foil for saucing. Once cooked, the squash spaghetti strands can be combed loose with a fork and then removed from or served in the shell. Recipe books recommend all manner of sauces, mostly tomato basedfrom pasta sauce
right out of the bottle to tomato coulis with spices of choice.
They are in high season now and worth a try. Cutting a raw spaghetti squash lengthwise is the hardest part of preparation. Use a sharp large chef knife or cleaver and pierce an opening, then cut through from top to bottom. Or, bake it whole at 350F (prick a few holes in it first) for about 50 minutes or until the shell is tender. Then cut it open. I prefer to use the microwave to cook squash. It’s quicker and you can poke it now and then to determine doneness. It should be noted that squash gets watery if over cooked.
Here is what we did with spaghetti squash last night. Since the squash is rather bland, the sauce should make a statement. Here we have a hot spicy sausage offset with a little butter and sugar syrup mixed into the salted spaghetti strands of squash (sweet, sour, bitter, salt).
SPAGHETTI SQUASH WITH LAMB MARQUEZ SAUSAGE
Yield: 2 dinner-in-the-shell or 4 sides
See abbreviations, if needed
· 1 spaghetti squash, halved lengthwise and seeds removed
· 2-4 links of lambmarquez sausage (or other very spicy sausage such as chorizo)
· 2 T butter
· 1 T real maple syrup
· ½ t salt, to taste
1. Halve and clean the squash
· Wrap in wax paper
· Microwave (cut side up) for about four 4-minute sessions (with a minute rest between sessions), or until fork tender
· Do not overcook
2. Meanwhile, boil the sausage links in a shallow sauté pan of water for about 4 minutes
· Place links on cutting board to cool, and drain water from sauté pan
· Remove the sausage casing from each link with a paring knife
· Slice the links into medium thin rounds and sauté briefly (without oil) until done
· Remove sausage rounds to drain and degrease the pan
3. In the same pan, melt the butter and add the maple syrup. Hold off heat
4. When the squash is done, comb loose the spaghetti stands
· Add salt to taste
· For a dinner, leave the stands in the shell
· For a side dish, remove the spaghetti strands from the shell
5. Reheat the sausage rounds and the butter mixture
6. Add the butter mixture to the squash and mix thoroughly,
add the reheated sausage rounds
7. Serve hot