Friday, May 18, 2007

Cooking without Recipes: Spaghetti Squash

You can make spaghetti squash without having any leftovers around. Actually you can just cook a spaghetti squash plain and then you have...squash. Stringy squash, but that's all. But that's not what I'm talking about.

The best part of spaghetti squash is that its little strings look and act kind of like spaghetti, so you can combine it with all kinds of pasta-ish things and make a good meal out of it. Also it has a very mild taste, so kids usually like it, even mine. I like the instructions in Whole Foods for the Whole Family, but I usually make up my own stuffing instead of using theirs (zucchini in the filling is too much squash-with-squash for me). Last night's version was very, very easy: we had some leftover meat sauce, fairly thick, sitting in the fridge, so I used that. I cut the squash in half, took the seeds out, and cooked the halves, cut side down, in a covered frying pan of water for about fifteen minutes. When they were soft enough to "string," I microwaved the sauce for a couple of minutes (just to give it a head start), and then mixed it in a bowl with some Parmesan cheese and as much of the hot squash as I could manage without collapsing the shells. (You have to hold the squash in your hand, using a pot holder, while you fork up the "spaghetti.") Then I put the mixture back into the shells and heated it through. If I'd had the oven on, I probably would have used that for heating, but since I didn't, I just put the two stuffed halves back into the frying pan (right side up this time), added a little water so they wouldn't scorch, and let it all get good and hot while I cooked some frozen perogies to go with it. I put the two big halves on a platter and cut them in smaller chunks for serving (carefully, so all the filling wouldn't fall out).

And that was dinner.

1 comment:

Roberta said...

That sounds delicious!

Umm... Now would my family eat it? Hmm... Well, I'd have to hide the squishy squashy evidence and see if they liked the new kind of pasta!

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