Spaghetti Squash Pasta

Spaghetti squash can be daunting: It’s big. It’s brightly colored. It claims to be pasta.

It turns out, it’s easy to cook and fun to eat. Just don’t expect a hearty Italian dish to be the same with squash as it would with pasta. Go into this meal with an open mind, and I think you’ll be pleased. This is a true adventure in eating!

The first time I made the squash, I cooked it whole with just a few pricks from a fork all around its outer skin. Leave it to Martha Stewart to make this sound easy. As I put it in the oven, the squash rolling around awkwardly on my baking tray, I thought, “Here goes nothing.” But out came something! And it was delicious.

Because this squash can be hard to cut, as Martha notes in her recipe linked above, roasting it whole is actually a nice way to handle this one. Here’s an excerpt from her recipe to give you the idea:

“Preheat oven to 375 degrees. With a small sharp knife, prick squash all over. Place on a rimmed baking sheet and roast until tender when pierced with knife, about 1 hour 20 minutes, flipping halfway through. When cool enough to handle, halve lengthwise and scoop out seeds. Scrape squash with a fork to remove flesh in long strands.”

If you don’t have more than an hour to wait for your squash to roast, it can also be cut in half for quicker roasting or even microwaved.

Once you’ve got your squash cooked, use a fork to scrape out long strands of squash-y goodness, then try preparing it just as you would a simple pasta dish: with butter and herbs, topped with marinara sauce, tossed with sausage and spinach, Parmesan and fresh-cracked black pepper, Alfredo sauce, or pesto. Remember, it’s an adventure!

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