So there is one sort of important step necessary to creating any of the yummy spaghetti squash recipes that you may find here, or elsewhere online. Before spaghetti squash can be converted into substitute noodles, pasta, etc., they must be cooked. There are a few ways to go about this process, and each has their pros and cons. You may choose, but choose wisely.
- Superior control over texture. You can test the squash for doneness at any point by stocking a fork in it. This allows you to bring it to a perfect "al dente" texture.
- Time. You can expect to spend 40 minutes to a full hour roasting a squash.
- Danger. Cutting a raw squash in half is tricky business. At one point I had my knife stuck so far into the damn thing that I had to call my husband for help in getting it out. This was, of course, AFTER I tried using centrifugal force to remove it. In hindsight I'm pretty lucky it didn't come off my knife while I was spinning around the kitchen.
How: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cut the squash in half. Scoop out the seeds and either discard them, or set them aside to be roasted separately. Brush each half with olive oil and sprinkle with salt & pepper. Set them on a baking sheet. (The jury is out on whether they should be facing up or down. I went for face up.) Roast them for 40 to 60 minutes, checking the texture for fork tenderness. Remove them when ready, allow them to cool enough to be handled, and then scrape out the insides with a fork.
- Relatively easy.
- Very soft squash. For people who like their pasta on the soft side, this could be a good option. If you prefer a firmer pasta, you probably won't like eating this veggie steamed.
How: Cut squash in half and removed innards. Place each side, face down inside a steamer over boiling heat, and cook for 20 minutes, or until fork tender.
- Really fast!
- Little to no control over texture. An extra few seconds can be the difference between rock hard and squashy squash.
How: Poke a few holes into the rind of the whole squash and pop it into the microwave. Cook for 12 - 24 minutes and cross your fingers. You can also try cutting it in half, wrapping it in plastic, and cooking it for 8 to 10 minutes.
Now what will you do with all of that lovely, shredded squash? I'll be posting two more recipes that use spaghetti squash as main ingredients within the next few days. For now, enjoy my lo mein recipe.