Saturday, November 12, 2011

Spaghetti Squash

 We've never had a spaghetti squash before but thanks to neighbor Marie and Tom Eby (of Tom's Maze fame), we were treated to a whole assortment of fine gourds: cushaw, butternut, acorn and spaghetti. I'm always anxious to try new dishes so I was happy to read a few reviews of how they're prepared. The best, in my way of thinking, is here.

 We've stored them outside - right on the concrete bench you see here - because it's been nice and cool. We simply made use of the free refrigeration. The spaghetti squash, by the way, is the yellow gourd on the right back.
 Preparing it for baking was simple. I cut it lengthwise, removing both the top and bottom first, and then scooped out the seeds and "innards". It's like removing the seeds from a pumpkin. We saved some of the seeds on a paper towel; I'll dry them and then place them in an envelope and plant them next spring.

 I placed the two gutted halves in a cake pan, dribbled olive oil in each half and spread it around the cut surfaces with my finger. Then I lightly salted and liberally sprinkled pepper on the squash. The pan was not oiled. I turned the squash over, placing each half cut side down, and baked it in a 400° oven for 40 minutes. To make sure it was properly done, I thrust a sharp knife through the skin. It slid easily through the flesh.

 The baked squash now converts rapidly to vegetable spaghetti by pulling a fork through the flesh. Every bit, right up to the skin, converts easily to spaghetti. I'd say it should be eaten right away, while it's fresh and hot.

 Each half converts to a full bowl of spaghetti. I know it can be layered in cheese, ladled with tomato sauce, etc. but I wanted to taste the unburdened gourd. So I added a little butter and another sprinkling of salt and scarfed it down just as you see it here.
 Delicious! There's really nothing to it and the gourd made two meals in no time at all.

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