Ok, so…is it a vegetable, or a pasta? The answer is both, my friends. Not really, but you’d never know the difference! Spaghetti squash is one of those little miracles of nature that can only be explained as God’s little gift for creative cooks. The flesh literally separates into strands, like angel hair spaghetti! The great news is that it’s pretty cheap, easy to find (almost all grocery stores carry it now), it keeps forever, and because you don’t eat the skins, it’s not completely necessary to buy organic (but if you can, you should).
You can cook spaghetti squash in the microwave or in the oven. I prefer the microwave- it’s much faster, and let’s be honest, that’s a big factor for me- but I know that there are countless studies about how microwaving food kills off the nutrients, so the oven is a perfectly good option as well.
Take a fork and basically ‘perforate’ a line around the squash lengthwise, as if you were going to cut it in half. Throw it in the microwave for about 4 minutes or so. The squash is very tough, so doing this allows you to cut the squash in half much more easily and without fear of impaling yourself on your best chef’s knife.
Once you cut the squash in half (microwave longer if necessary) remove as many seeds as possible and place the squash cut-sides down in a glass baking dish (like pyrex) along with ½ cup of water. Microwave for about ten minutes.
Once cooked throughout (the flesh can be easily penetrated from the middle to the rind) turn the squash over and, using the tines of a fork, begin separating the strands. Work from the middle out to the edges. As you get chunks, separate them, too- and put your ready-to-eat ‘pasta’ into a serving bowl. Do this until you have scraped out the entire squash!
You can now dress the ‘pasta’ however you like- butter and herbs, any type of marinara sauce, or my personal favorite- basil pesto and olive oil with some halved cherry tomatoes and shaved raw garlic. Experiment with this, just like you would pasta! I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised…it’s delicious!