The spaghetti squash (Cucurbita pepo), also called vegetable spaghetti, noodle squash, squaghetti , gold string melon in Japanese, is an oblong seed-bearing variety of winter squash. The fruit can range either from ivory to yellow or orange in color or green with white streaks. Its center contains many large seeds. Its flesh is bright yellow. When raw, the flesh is solid and similar to other raw squash; when cooked, the flesh falls away from the fruit in ribbons or strands like spaghetti.
Spaghetti squash can be baked, boiled, steamed, or microwaved. It can be served with or without sauce, as a substitute for pasta. The seeds can be roasted, similar to pumpkin seeds.
Spaghetti squash contains many nutrients, including folic acid, potassium, vitamin A, and beta carotene. It is low in calories.
How To Cook Spaghetti Squash
Bake It -- Pierce the whole shell several times with a large fork or skewer and place in baking dish. Cook squash in preheated 375?F oven approximately 1 hour or until flesh is tender.
Boil It -- Heat a pot of water large enough to hold the whole squash. When the water is boiling, drop in the squash and cook for 20 to 30 minutes, depending on its size. When a fork goes easily into the flesh, the squash is done.
Microwave It -- Cut squash in half lengthwise; remove seeds. Place squash cut sides up in a microwave dish with 1/4 cup water. Cover with plastic wrap and cook on high for 10 to 12 minutes, depending on size of squash. Add more cooking time if necessary. Let stand covered, for 5 minutes. With fork "comb" out the strands.
Slow Cooker or Crock-Pot - Choose a smaller spaghetti squash (unless you have an extra large slow cooker) so that it will fit. Add 2 cups of water to slow cooker. Pierce the whole shell several times with a large fork or skewer, add to Crock Pot, cover and cook on low for 8 to 9 hours.
Once the squash is cooked, let it cool for 10 to 20 minutes so it will be easier to handle, before cutting in half (if it wasn't already) and removing the seeds. Pull a fork lengthwise through the flesh to separate it into long strands. (See photos.) You can do these steps ahead of time, then prepare spaghetti squash recipes whenever the mood strikes.
Baked Spaghetti Squash with Beef and Veggies
SPAGHETTI SQUASH WITH SOFT HERBS AND ROBIOLA
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