Spaghetti squash - a curcubit with an identity crisis!
by Farmer Liz
My friend from work who also gardens gave me a spaghetti squash to try. I wasn't sure if I wanted to try it, but she really wanted to get rid of it as she had grown (and eaten) so many of them already this summer. It sat on our kitchen bench for a couple of weeks until my curiosity got the better of me. I couldn't believe that a squash could cook up like spaghetti!
My only instructions were to cut it up and boil it until it was soft and then scrape the strands of "spaghetti" out of the skin. A google search reveals that there are a number of other methods, but this seemed pretty simple. We only used half the squash for the first night, and I can report that it has a ridiculously tough skin to cut through, I had to enlist the help of my husband to cut it up! Much like when we make pumpkin soup. I boiled it for about about 15 mins in lightly salted water, and it then became clear that the strands could be scraped from the skin.
Boiling the squash (had so upsize the pot to fit it all in)
extracting the "spaghetti"
I have to say it was less like spaghetti than I expected, more like rice noodles in texture, but quite a pleasant taste, not too bitter. We ate the spaghetti squash with bolognaise sauce (because the same friend had given me a massive bag of roma tomatoes in exchange for some pickling cucumbers), topped with some of our very tasty cheese.
My recipe for bolognaise sauce (its probably not very Bolognaise, but you know what I mean, a mince and tomato sauce....)
cut up as many tomatoes as are available from garden and friends' gardens and cook in a little stock for as long as possible to create a lovely rich base
sauté onion, mushroom, capsicum and garlic in another pan, cook mince
combine all the ingredients in a big pot and add any spare red wine, more stock, any spare herbs like basil, oregano, thyme, chives and parsley, my husband love to add chillis and olives
zuchinni or button squash could also be added here (although it might be curcubit overload)
cook for as long as possible until its lovely and rich (add tomato paste to cheat if you run out of time)
taste the sauce, it may need a little salt or brown sugar depending on the veges
chop up silverbeet/mustard greens/spinach and stir in when its nearly ready
serve with pasta or spaghetti squash :) and a strong cheese on top
Have you tried spaghetti squash? Or any other weird veges?