Spaghetti squash, a large tender-skinned squash that has a unique texture after cooking, is relatively new to the New Zealand market. I tried baking one whole but too much steam formed inside rendering the flesh moist, sloppy and overcooked.
Back to the drawing board then … You’ll get a better result if the squash is cut in half before cooking – and you need a sharp and sturdy knife for the job – as some of the steam can then escape during cooking resulting in a somewhat dryer flesh. Scoop out the seeds with a spoon.
Cook the squash in an oven preheated to 190°C (375°F) cut side down in a shallow dish for about 25 minutes. The trick is to turn the squash as soon as you remove it from the oven or it’ll keep on steaming. If it’s not tender, return it to the oven for a further 5-10 minutes.
Once it’s ready, grab a fork and rake it through the flesh. The flesh will form thin separate strands that resemble spaghetti. But there the comparison ends. You cannot toss spaghetti squash with a sauce as you do spaghetti – it turns to mush – but if the fancy takes you, you can put a dollop of sauce on top of a mound of spaghetti squash strands and eat away pretending it is pasta. In my head it is a vegetable, and an enjoyable one at that, not a pasta substitute, but there you go.
The season for spaghetti squash is short, and we are well into it, so hop to it if you want to try it.
Here’s a lovely way to eat it. Spaghetti Squash with Dirty Butter