Hello to my Fellow Springdellians! Jess Here. What a perfect day for Apple picking! The Bucks and the Andersons could not resist picking a few more apples today in preparation for the wintertime stash of applesauce. A beautiful morning followed by a scrumptious dinner!
Today we are going to dive in to one of my favorite share items, the spaghetti squash. This beautiful veggie is nothing short of a miracle, as when it’s cooked just right it creates the illusion of pasta. Not only is it a healthy substitute for pasta, it’s gluten-free, too! Like pasta, spaghetti squash can be a little bland on its own. Also like pasta, it can be a wonderful canvas on which to paint a variety of sauces.
It is possible to roast your spaghetti squash whole, it is even possible to microwave a spaghetti squash. Today, however, we’ll halve it before roasting it in the oven. To do so, start with a super sharp knife (do be careful) and cut around the squash lengthwise as shown above. Scoop out the seeds with a spoon (a grapefruit spoon works great!) Place your squash in a baking dish with the cut part down in about 1/2 inch of water (just enough water to make a little seal near your flat edge.) Roast your squash at 400 degrees for 30-45 minutes or until the skin is tender when pierced with a fork.
Flip it upside down and scrape the insides out with the tines of a fork. As you drag your fork across the squash, you should start to see strings that resemble pasta.
This is way healthier than traditional pasta, and hence, I usually don’t feel so bad when I splurge a little on the sauce ingredients (I’m talking about you, Parmesan cheese!) Tonight I went with a creamy and garlicky Alfredo sauce. All you need is milk, butter, Parmesan cheese, cream cheeese, cornstarch, nutmeg, garlic, parsley and an appetite! (Chicken and sage are optional add-ons).
In a medium saucepan, melt a good pat of butter (a tablespoon or so) before adding about 4 cloves of minced garlic. Cook over medium heat until the garlic becomes fragrant (after a minute or two) add a tablespoon of cornstarch and whisk it for just a minute before starting to slowly add a cup of milk as you whisk. (Pour in too fast and you might end up with some lumps.) If you have some handy, a little dollop of cream cheese is great to add at this point. Continue to whisk as all the flavors are incorporated.
Next, add about a cup of Parmesan cheese, whisking until melted. You can opt to add up to a 1/2 cup additional milk to your sauce until you achieve the desired consistency. It’s pretty gooey and cheesy.
I sautéed some medallions of chicken to add to the mix, but these are optional.
Once you achieve the desired taste to your sauce, mix all but a few tablespoons of the sauce into the squash. You should find the squash to mingle with the gooey sauce in a way that becomes very creamy, almost like a Risotto.
Salt and pepper to taste, top with chicken (if using) and extra sauce and you are good to go! Tonight I used a little parsley for color. Sage leaves crisped in butter then crumbled is also a wonderful addition. I went for this large flat serving dish, but you could also use the natural bowl created from the hollowed out spaghetti squash.
However you present it, I hope you’ll find it as delicious as we did! We dug into this pretty fast – so fast that I forgot photos of the accompanying salad. The salad was good too, so I’ll make it again and feature it soon. Until tomorrow, sweet and savory dreams!