On Your Mark, Get Set: Second Lap with Spaghetti Squash!
by Sarah A. Maine
When I saw that Brianna had made Spaghetti Squash with Herbed Leek Sauce I couldn’t resist, I had to take the bait and relay off of this fabulous member of the winter squash family. I am a neophyte when it comes to spaghetti squash, I cooked my first one about a month ago, it was a revelation. Although I am still getting the hang of how to evenly cook this interesting squash variety, it is safe to say that I am a zealous convert to using it in my kitchen. After this week you’ll have 2 new spaghetti squash recipes so you can practice using it too!
My introduction to spaghetti squash was actually forced upon me by my CSA. ‘Forced’ is a strong word, I probably could have traded it in for some extra greens or something else more familiar, but I have made a pledge to myself not to shy away from cooking unfamiliar food. The only option: take them on head first. I have also pledged that when I get something unfamiliar in my box, I will ask what it is. I have had a couple of misadventures preparing items that I have never encountered before: I once mistook rainbow chard for rhubarb and made a very strange chard-y tasting syrup, hence the rule about asking. I knew that if I was going have any luck with the spaghetti squash I needed some help. While I was packing up my CSA share I overheard a couple of people talking about how to prepare spaghetti squash. I piped up and asked them what I should do with the thing. Their answer seemed vague: pierce the skin, bake it in the oven and then scrape out the flesh out with a fork and eat it. I was skeptical. Scrape it out with a fork? Why would I do that? It sounded messy. I headed home to check my cookbooks and do a little internet research. Most of my cookbooks were silent on the subject, the Joy of Cooking had one small paragraph that basically equated to what I had been told by my fellow CSA members, the internet was a little better – I saw some grainy pictures of stringy looking squash innards. Spaghetti squash was seeming less promising by the minute. There was nothing left to do but plunge in and try it for myself.
It was only when I finally sliced the squash open (after baking it) and saw the flesh separate itself into perfectly formed noodles that I fully understood the potential of this vegetable. A magic squash that turns itself into noodles! It was as close as I had ever seen any vegetable get to being able to perform a party trick. A trick I would welcome at my party anytime. And this week it’s that kind of party on RecipeRelay. Brianna used spaghetti squash as a substitute for pasta, I’m going to continue the exploration by using spaghetti squash instead of rice noodles in an Asian inspired soup. I’m not sure how the texture will hold up in a soup broth but I am keeping my fingers crossed that the spaghetti squash will come through for me in enchanting style. See you on Thursday!