Spagetti squash - what's it all about?

Posted by Valley Organics on

Ranging from pale to luminous yellow this beautiful swollen mass is now arriving on the shelves at your friendly local veg cooperative. It looks somewhere between a stumpy marrow and a pumpkin that’s been racked. But the real question is what can you expect to find inside?  

Well I’ve looked and I was a little sad but not entirely surprised to find it wasn’t stuffed with hand made artisan pasta. However for those of you with gluten allergies or looking for low carbohydrate pasta substitute it’s a fantastic, seasonal alternative. It’s also right up your street if you like spiralising or generally have a penchant for weird vegetables and the culinary adventures they provide.

Within the glowing orbs (and you need a sharp knife and a steady hand to access them) lurk a mass of perfectly formed individual fibres, compacted to form the bulk of this marvellous fruit. Yes that’s right botanically squashes are actually fruit!

On cooking these magical fibres soften and unravel to form individual strands of squash. Tender, firm and slightly sweet to the taste they are delicious with the sauce of your choosing or in a fake pasta bake.

How to cook it you might ask? Well after years of chopping them up into squares and boiling them into a soggy mass I decided to do some research to save you from my mistakes. And what a wonderful world of spaghetti squash recipes I encountered!

It seems there are two basic routes to take: ‘the chop it in half lengthways and roast it as two boats method’ or the ‘slice it into large rings, cross section method’. Both approaches will leave with you good long noodles and keep the ‘spaghetti’ at its optimum texture.

Whichever way you decide to go first scoop out the seeds and either compost them or keep them for roasting separately. At this point you chose the ‘ring’ or ‘boat’ cutting style. You want to coat the squash rings in a little olive oil or drizzle olive oil inside your boats, then add salt and pepper or spices of your choice. Next pop them on a baking tray and roast at 200 C for 40-60 until the flesh is soft easily pierced with a eating knife.

When roasting your boats it seems that cut side down allows the moisture to drizzle out and keeps the squash from getting soggy. If you’re doing a more integrated casserole dish you’ll need to keep that squash cut side up to contain your other ingredients. The great thing about the ‘boat method’ is the skin provides a built in bowl for you to eat out of once you’ve added your sauce to the tender roasted ‘squashetti’.

You can find a visual and more detailed cooking instructions here

There are a whole host of other recipes available online if these don’t tickle your fancy.

If you’re a spaghetti squash cooking connoisseur and you’d like to share your recipes we’d love to hear from you. Or if you’d like to let us know how you got on with your ‘squashetti’ experiments feel free to email us via the contact form below with your comments.

Thanks for reading folks. I’m excited to give these a try they’re a unique treat and a wonderful symbol of the peak of Summer abundance, fresh in the shop this week.