Spaghetti Squash

I recently came across something that I hadn’t eaten since living in the States many, many moons ago: spaghetti squash. You probably won’t find this in Irish or UK supermarkets, but should come across it in farmers’ markets. It is a dark yellow winter squash, a little smaller than a rugby ball and not as pointy. From the outside, it gives no clue to the surprise waiting inside: a myriad of golden spaghetti-like strands. These are fragrant, slightly sweet and nutty in taste. And provided you have not cooked the living bejasus out of the squash, still have a little bite!

Seeing as it was so long since I had cooked the stuff, I had to do a little web research to see how. I found a good video at Dani Spies’ website. I was in a bit of a hurry, so followed the suggestion of microwaving it, turning it over once after half the cooking time. In my case, it seemed to need about 12mins per kg at 1000 Watt, but it probably depends on how ripe the squash is and your microwave. Be sure to puncture the squash through to the core about a dozen times with a heavy knive to minimise the chances of the whole thing exploding in the microwave.

When cooked, leave to cool for 5 minutes, chop off the stalk end and split lengthways. Remove the seeds and then pull the strands of ‘spaghetti’ with a fork. The are lots of things you could then do with said ‘spaghetti’ but since I was in a hurry, I just dressed it with some butter, grated parmesan, a teaspoon of Dijon mustard and some salt and pepper. A squash of 1.5kg will easily give enough for 4 side portions or 2 main portions. It was really delish and I urge you to try it, as well as the other delicious squashes currently in season.

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