Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Spaghetti Squash as a "Pasta"

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone AppMy mom introduced me to Spaghetti Squash as a substitute for spaghetti back in the 70's when we were dieting. We still craved our taste for Italian pasta dishes served with sauce and sausage or meatballs. 

This was in the days before microwaves, which now makes it faster and easier to cook.

The squash has a very mild taste but a texture similar to pasta and so low in calories or carbs it's practically nothing: 40 calories versus 200. So whenever deciding to "diet" this is a good choice for a "noodle" substitute.

I cook my sauce, sausage or meatballs separately, then combine with the prepared squash as I would do for regular spaghetti. 

This veggie is tasty by itself with grated Parmesan as a side dish for any meat dish, but as a substitute for pasta works well.

Spaghetti Squash
    Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App
  • 1 small spaghetti squash, about 2-1/2 pounds
  • 2-1/2 Tabs. butter
  • 2-1/2 Tabs. finely chopped fresh soft herbs, such as basil, chives, parsley 
  • or 2 tsps. of dry mixed herbs
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/8 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • Cheese: Parmesan, or Feta,
  • spaghetti or marinara sauce
  • Add ons: sausage, mushrooms, meatballs
Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone AppPierce all over with a with a knife or metal skewer so steam releases, and microwave for 5-10 minutes, or until soft. Cool for handling then cut in half lengthwise.  Remove seeds with a spoon (discard or save and use as you would for making pumpkin seeds).

Or cut in half lengthwise and bake cut side down in an oven at 375 degrees for 45 to 50 minutes, until squash is soft.
Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App
With a fork scrape insides forming "spaghetti" strands and put in a bowl.  Use for recipes as you would for regular pasta spaghetti. Heat a skillet, adding the butter, spaghetti squash, herbs, garlic, salt and pepper and toss to heat and combine. 


Serve immediately or cover and keep warm until ready to serve. Top or toss with sauce, cheese and desired meat. Yields about 6 cups or more of  "spaghetti." Serves 6 to 8.


Estimated cost of  squash: $3.00 or less; .50 cents a serving or less.