What is Spaghetti Squash?
Spaghetti squash, or winter squash, is a medium sized fruit that is yellow colored and has an ovular shape. It is a cultivar and belongs to the Cucurbita pepo group when it comes to its phylogeny. They typically grow to about a foot long and about half a foot wide and can weigh anywhere between 4 to eight pounds when ripe. I find them at the grocery stores here in Middle Georgia often, but they are in season during late autumn and early winter. Its flavor is mild and neutral, and it provides a great base to many recipes. Its neutral flavor makes it such a strong contender to pair with sauces, especially tomato-based sauces.
So, why is this squash called spaghetti squash? It’s because the flesh of it is naturally shredded into long, noodle-like strands. The center of this squash, much like a cantaloupe, is full of seeds that the flesh grows around, and it is likely because of the way the flesh grows around the seeded portion that it grows in these strands.
I personally prepare spaghetti squash often in place of your normal noodle when making a standard spaghetti recipe. Most people have a beloved spaghetti recipe, and so when I discovered that this fruit existed, I simply just replaced your normal spaghetti noodle with the squash. Personally, I enjoyed this replacement much more than spaghetti noodles, and I continue to use spaghetti squash in my cooking to add a healthy alternative to my diet, that in my opinion, tastes much better.
Like I said, if you are wanting to try spaghetti squash, you can always just replace your typical spaghetti recipe with it. What I present here is my personal recipe for the spaghetti squash portion of spaghetti squash spaghetti.
You will need:
1 Spaghetti Squash
Instructions for Squash
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
- Wash your hands!
- Cut your squash in half lengthwise. It should look like this:
- Scoop out all seeds that are inside.
- Drizzle olive oil along inside of squash, rub in with fingers.
- Shake salt along the inside, enough to have a thin layer. This salt will cook out. the purpose of the salt is to draw the moisture out of the squash. Add pepper if you would like.
- Place squash inside baking dish with the outer portion of the squash up.
8. Pierce the squash a few times to create ventilation. You can use a fork or a knife to do so.
9. When oven is done preheating, bake the squash for 30 to 40 minutes depending on the size of your squash. Larger squashes will need to cook for longer than a small one, and if you prefer your noodle al dente, or a little crunchy, cook it for slightly less time.
10. Once it is roasted and cool to touch, use a fork to separate the strands.
11. Season with salt and pepper of your choice, add your favorite sauce, and enjoy!