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Friday, 22 July 2011

Spaghetti Squash


Spaghetti Squash is an amazing vegetable, whose flesh breaks up into spaghetti-like strands after boiling or baking. Its a very healthy alternative to "normal" pasta, with a slightly nutty taste. Looks good, tastes good and most importantly its really really healthy. What more can one ask from a humble squash. It made its first appearance on our dining table this week and we totally loved it. My hubby read about it somewhere and we brought the big 2 Kilo fruit home very enthusiastically. 


He helped me in the kitchen. From lugging the super-heavy thing around from the organic supermarket to pricking with a fork to ensure an evenly cooked squash, to baking and cutting it up, and to scraping it into noodles finely. Everything was done by him. Can't thank him enough :-)





Spaghetti Squash before and after baking...


Hubby scraping the squash :-)

I made a quick tomato sauce and threw in a few vegetables to make it even more healthier. But, at the end, P. topped it up with some cheese and baked it over... It tasted heavenly but then it wasn't totally healthy. But, what the heck... I am so glad that I tried this veggi and also served it to 2 of our good friends, who were home for dinner this weekend. They loved it too. 


To make it look even more interesting, I baked it in the squash shell itself. It looked simply gorgeous. And pretty shamelessly, I clicked quite a few photos in front of our waiting, drooling, hungry friends so that I could show them to all you lovely people :-) Hope you'll like it. 


Ingredients

2 kg - spaghetti squash

For the tomato sauce

450 grams - tomato, blanched and finely chopped
2-3 pods of garlic, finely chopped
1 - onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup - red and yellow pepper, finely chopped
1 - carrot medium size, chopped, boiled
1 1/2 tsp - dried italian herbs
3 tbsp - olive oil
1 tbsp - balsamico vinegar
1/2 tsp - red chilli flakes (more or less)
salt and pepper to taste
25 grams - parmesan cheese, grated

Method
  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C.
  2. Pierce/Prick the squash all around with a fork and place it in the baking tray.
  3. Place the tray in the center of the preheated oven and bake for approx 1 hour or until the shell is soft and gives on pressing. (alternately, you can boil the squash or cook in the microwave.)
  4. Let the squash cool and then cut it vertically into half. 
  5. Scoop the seeds out. Scrape the squash, lengthwise, with a fork, to get spaghetti like strands. (do not throw away the shell)
  6. Heat the olive oil in a pan, add the garlic, onion, peppers and saute until the onions are soft.
  7. Add the blanched and chopped tomatoes, carrots, salt, pepper and red chilli flakes and cook for 4-5 minutes. Remove from the heat, add the herbs and balsamico vinegar and mix well.
  8. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C.
  9. Mix well the spaghetti squash and the tomato sauce. Spoon the mixture into the squash shell, top it up with grated parmesan cheese and place the squash in a baking tray.
  10. Place the tray in the center of the preheated oven and bake until the cheese is slightly brown. Serve hot. 





We used half the squash with this tomato sauce and the other half with a basil-pesto (but unfortunately not home made!). Both the versions tasted heavenly, though I personally preferred the tomato sauce to the pesto. 


Enjoy!

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