Well I think fall might be on its way out the door and winter is coming. It’s been pretty cold and my car was frosted over this morning when I left for work. Brrr.
I was in charge for dinner tonight and it felt good to be back in the kitchen. After talking to Alex’s mom, Rita, about spaghetti squash this past weekend, I figured tonight was a good night to roast one up and make spaghetti and meatballs. We had a purple cauliflower head that was starting to go bad so that got steamed up on the side.
Please excuse my sad picture-taking skills. I really need learn how to take better photos. This dinner was really easy as it used jarred tomato sauce from Zia’s which is one of my favorite Italian restaurants in St. Louis and meatballs from Market Day. Use your favorite jarred sauce or make your own. I have not yet adventured into the realm of sauce making but it’s on the list. I remember my mom used to make one when I was younger that would simmer on the stove all day. Yum. Anyways.
For those of you who are new to spaghetti squash there are a couple of ways to prepare it. You can poke a bunch of wholes in it and microwave it. For how long you ask? I don’t know. My mom told me a story the other day that kept me from trying this. When we were younger she poked a bunch of holes in one, microwaved it for the specified time and then, when she went to take it out, it exploded all over her and left her with burns on her arms and face. That’s enough for me to just roast it in the oven.
To do so cut off the stem then stand the spaghetti squash on the newly created flat end. Cut length-wise (or hot dog style if you prefer that term) in half. Scoop out the seeds and inside pulp as you would any other winter squash and discard. Or save and roast the seeds. Lightly coat with some olive oil and place cut side down on a foiled sheet pan. Bake in a 400 degree oven for 45-60 minutes. When you press into the squash it should give in to you with little effort and the “noodles” should pull away from the skin and each other easily.
Cook your sauce and meatballs while they roast. Once the squash is done, take it out of the oven and flip it over using tongs. I find this is the best way to keep from burning yourself. Let sit face up for about 5-10 minutes until they can be handled without burning yourself. Then use a fork and pull the noodles out and place into a bowl. Season with salt and pepper then top with your meatballs and pasta sauce. Or you can find one of the zillion recipes out there in the interwebs. There are too many spaghetti squash recipes that I want to try and not enough time in winter to get through them all.
Enjoy your tasty low cal, low carb pasta dinner. 1 cup of spaghetti squash has only 42 calories and 10 g carbs compared to 1 cup of regular spaghetti with 220 calories and 43 g carbs. Not that carbohydrates are bad but it’s a good alternative calorie wise. And, it’s a great way to get in another tasty serving of vegetables. Yummy.
What’s your favorite way to prepare spaghetti squash? Have any horror stories like my moms?