Only recently have I started experimenting with spaghetti squash. After cooking it for the first time, I was amazed at how much it looks like spaghetti. Yes, I know it is called spaghetti squash. I am still experimenting with different ideas for this vegetable, but the possibilities are endless. I’ve made a “pasta” bake in the past with spaghetti squash, marinara sauce and crumbled Italian sausage. I mixed it all together, sprinkled mozzarella cheese over the top, and baked it in the oven. It was delicious! I didn’t even miss the pasta. For this recipe, I wanted the squash to be a side dish and not a main dish. All I did was throw in items I had around the kitchen/garden.
- 1 spaghetti squash
- 1 bell pepper (I used brown because that’s what I had in my garden)
- Butter (2-3 T) or more to taste
- Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
- Oregano, fresh and chopped (can use dried if no fresh)
- salt and pepper to taste
1. Poke holes randomly around the squash using a fork or knife. Microwave on a plate for about 6 minutes on each side (might be more/less).
2. While the squash is cooking, chop the bell pepper into bit size pieces. In a medium non-stick skillet, cook bell pepper in a 1/2 T butter over medium heat until tender.
3. When the squash is done, cut it in half and scrape out the seeds. Use a fork to scrape the “spaghetti” out of the squash (see pictures in slideshow). If the squash is still too hard, microwave with the inside facing up for a couple more minutes until done. Scrape (with a fork) the insides of the squash into the skillet with the bell pepper. You will need to use a towel to hold the squash if it is still hot. Keep the burner at medium heat, and add chopped oregano to taste (1-2 T). Add a tablespoon or more of butter to moisten the squash and give it a smooth taste. Add a couple dashes of salt and pepper to taste; cook for 3-5 minutes while stirring occasionally.
4. Transfer mixture to a bowl and grate fresh Parmesan cheese over the squash. Mix and repeat until you reach a desired taste.
Observations: The spaghetti squash wasn’t cooked all the way, so I put it back in the microwave for a little longer. I originally added the Parmesan cheese to the skillet, but it became a cheesy gooey mess. That is why I changed the recipe to add the cheese after you take it off the heat and add it to the bowl. Also, I never really measured anything while I was making this. This recipe is nice because you start by adding just a little bit, then you can gradually add more depending on your taste. It doesn’t have to be perfect!
Analysis: The combination of flavors was excellent. I plan on trying a different cheese next time I make this to vary it up. I would most likely stick with the oregano if I make this again. The nice thing about this recipe is its openness to variety. You could add all sorts of veggies to this recipe, depending on what you like. My husband really liked this recipe, and he is not a fan of squash. Pick up a spaghetti squash at your local grocery store or farmer’s market and try it this week!