What is spaghetti squash?
Spaghetti squash also called vegetable spaghetti or noodle squash is a group of cultivars of Cucurbita pepo subsp. pepo. A variety of shapes are available in the market including, sizes, and colors, including ivory, yellow and orange, with orange having the highest amount of carotene content and its center contains many large seeds. Its flesh is bright yellow or orange.
Spaghetti squash, a fruit or vegetable?
Squash of all types have seeds and come from the flowering part of plants. In fact, edible flowers even grow out of squash and are called as squash blossoms. Therefore, it is considered a fruit.
Different methods of cooking spaghetti squash
Okay, now we have introduced spaghetti squash with you a little bit, in this article we will have a detailed discussion on different methods of how to cook spaghetti squash. There are many ways of cooking spaghetti squash, but we will discuss only the best one that could give you a taste like never before.
Method number one: simple spaghetti
Spaghetti squash is a great fall vegetable and easily replaces pasta and so many different dishes. Now I know that there are different ways of cooking spaghetti squash but this one is my favorite method of cooking spaghetti squash. So let us get started.
- Cut your spaghetti squash in half lengthwise by running your knife down one side then turning the squash and cutting the other side. Spaghetti squash is very firm and this will take a little extra muscle, so be careful with your knife and especially if you love your fingers, be very careful then. Try to use a butter knife while cutting spaghetti squash, a sharp and large knife.
- Now you have two pieces of spaghetti squash of half-sized, scoop out the seeds from both the pieces and place them in a bowl, as you can roast these seeds later as you would roast pumpkin seeds.
- Now take a brush and some olive oil, brush the inside of the squash with olive oil, and then sprinkle some salt and pepper. Salt must be according to the size of pumpkin but pepper can go as per requirement. Keep in mind that while brushing squash with oil, do not rub it hard, and use a soft brush.
Once You Are Done, Wait A Bit
- Once that is done, flip your spaghetti squash over so that the cut side is down and roast it in the oven for 35 to 45 minutes. When you are done with cooking squash in the oven, let it get cooled for a few minutes.
- After your squash is cooled for a few minutes, the top side will cave in a little, which just means that it is cooked through.
- Flip your squash back over again and then use a fork to gently scrape the inside of your squash. The squash naturally forms spaghetti-like strands, which you can eat immediately or use as a replacement for any pasta dish.
- Once you are done with the scrapping of squash and you get spaghetti-like strands, gently take these strands out of squash in a bowl or plate, and your spaghetti squash is ready.
Method number two: Spaghetti squash with long strands
If you have ever bought a spaghetti squash at the store or cooked at home, most of the time you are probably going to be looking for the longest and tallest spaghetti squash. Because most of the time people cut the squash all the way down from the stem to the stern, and that is just the wrong way if you want to have long strands of spaghetti squash. You can do this but the only thing is you only get short strands of your spaghetti squash, instead of long luxurious noodles.
So, what you must look for when you go to the store is actually the fattest squash and that is because, when you cut spaghetti squash, you only need to cut it around the belt, not from stem to stern, in order to have long strands.
Let us cook it now.
- First thing first, a long and heavy knife is the first thing you need to have, so you can cut spaghetti squash quite easily. Grab the squash firmly, plant it down and shave off just a tiny little flat section so you can place it and it does not move around.
- Curl your finger back and put your knife on the spaghetti squash and rub it a bit so it does not slip when you put pressure on it.
- Now with your knife fixed in squash, press the knife with your hand and cut it around the belt.
- Then remove the end from both the pieces
- Now use a spoon or thin knife to get the seeds out of the squash and you can use it later as you use pumpkin seeds.
- Then it is time for salting, the salting is to draw out some of the moisture in spaghetti squash. You probably have found that spaghetti squash can sometimes be really wet and mushy when you cook it, which is not even a pleasant eating experience. we always want the driest noodles out of squash we can get, and salting spaghetti squash 10 to 15 minutes will just draw out moisture. However, you are not going to leave salt bond after you salt it, and you are going to rinse it off.
You Need To Wait For 10 to 15 Minutes
- After 10 to 15 minutes, you will find that there is water all around the surface of your squash, that is because of salting. Take a little rag and brush the salt away.
- Now put your squash in the oven at 425, for 25 to 30 minutes, or you might need a little bit longer, depending on how big your squash is.
- After it gets out of oven, put the squash on a rack and let it cool for a few minutes, until you can handle it with your fingers. Use a fork to get all the noodles out of squash.
You can serve it on a plate make it into a noodle bowl. Just place one half of the squash right into a bowl and just in case any of juice from your sauce leaks out from the bottom, you do not want it all over the table.
Method number one: with meat sauce
Pre-heat your oven to 375 degrees, as you will need this.
You will need one spaghetti squash, one pound of ground beef, half cup of mozzarella cheese, quarter cup of parmesan, one 15 ounces can of diced tomato drained, 2 cup of crushed tomatoes, 2 cloves of garlic, one teaspoon of Italian seasoning, half cup of onion, 2 teaspoon of salt, two teaspoon of black pepper, and fresh parsley to garnish.
Carefully cut the squash and scoop out the seeds. You can cut it stem to stern or you can go around the belt while cutting squash. Now put some olive oil on the inside of squash and sprinkle salt and black pepper. And brush it to make sure it is evenly oiled and seasoned. Flip the squash over and allow it to be cooked in oven for 30 to 40 minutes on 375 degrees. After it gets out of the oven, set it aside.
In a frying pan add one tablespoon of olive oil and bring it to medium heat. Sauté the garlic and onion for one minute, now brown your ground beef. Season with the salt, pepper and Italian seasoning. Now add your crushed tomatoes and your drained diced tomatoes and continue to simmer for another four minutes. Turn off the heat and set it aside until later. Using a fork, gently pull the squash away from the skin. Now top with your meat sauce then your mozzarella and parmesan cheese. Transfer it to the oven and allow it to cook for additional 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, remove it from the oven then garnish it with the parse leaves. If you are looking for an alternative to traditional pasta. Then give this one a try and you will enjoy it.
Benefits and nutrients of eating squash
cooked spaghetti squash of One cup (155 grams) provides the following nutrients:
- Calories: 42
- Carbs: 10 grams
- Fiber: 2.2 grams
- Protein: 1 gram
- Fat: 0.5 grams
- Vitamin C: 9% of the Reference Daily Intake (RDI)
- Manganese: 8% of the RDI
- Vitamin B6: 8% of the RDI
- Pantothenic acid: 6% of the RDI
- Niacin: 6% of the RDI
- Potassium: 5% of the RDI
Now with such important nutrients in it, and easy above given methods of cooking spaghetti squash. You can have a healthy diet with few simple steps. Give it a try and it is guaranteed that you will enjoy it. Eat it and give it to your loved ones.