Spicy Spaghetti Squash


squash2Good Monday to you all!  Today I’m featuring one of my favorite gourds, the spaghetti squash.  Named for it’s pasta-like flesh, this squash is incredibly easy to cook and has a really mild flavor that can be dressed up in a multitude of ways.  I have made faux-pasta before with some tomato and pesto, sauteed it with zucchini and mushrooms, and so on.  The recipe today is sort of a Spanish-y flavor, with plenty of paprika and sundried tomato flakes.  It’s simple, but you know.  Simplicity can be good, especially on a side dish.

Before I get to the recipe, a bit on spaghetti squash.  It is really low calorie with only 42 cal per 1 cup serving, making it a stellar substitute if you are on a low carb or gluten free diet.  The taste is less…squashy and smoother than the more common summer squash, with a much more substantial body and texture.  Nutritionally, it has plenty of potassium, Vitamin A, Folic Acid, and beta carotene.  The best part is how easy spaghetti squash is to prepare.  You can bake it, like I did here; boil it; or put it in the microwave!  The squash strands are easily extracted with a fork, and they literally just fall apart like pasta strands.

One important tip, and this goes for any large fruit or vegetable that you have to cut open with a knife:  WASH THE FOOD FIRST!   Think about it.  Someone’s been out in the fields harvesting these crops.  There aren’t really bathrooms available.  No one really washes them thoroughly before you get them into your home, generally.  Do the math.  This is why people get sick from melons.  When you put your knife on the outside to cut it open, it just drags any bacteria from the skin into the interior of the fruit.  Yuck.

So here we go:

Spicy Spaghetti Squash

1 spaghetti squash, cut in half & seeds removed

Olive Oil

Salt

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 or 2 tsp paprika

2 Tbs sundried tomato flakes OR 2 sundried tomatoes, minced

1 Tbs minced fresh oregano (I didn’t have any today but this would be a great addition)

Preheat oven to 375 F.

Spread a thin layer of olive oil on each side of the halved squash.  Sprinkle with salt, and then place cut side down on a baking sheet.   Bake for 35-45 minutes, depending on the size of your squash.   When it’s done, you should be able to easily scrape a fork down the sides and remove the flesh.   Put the flesh in a bowl or just scrape it onto the pan.  Discard the squash hull.

In a large saute pan, warm some olive oil.  Saute the minced garlic for a minute, then add the squash.  Sprinkle the paprika, salt, tomato, and oregano over the squash and saute for approximately 5 minutes.  Taste it to make sure your seasonings are to your liking, and then serve or let cool and store it for later.

Serves 4-6

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6 thoughts on “Spicy Spaghetti Squash

  1. blowingoffsteamandmore February 11, 2013 at 1:45 PM Reply

    I am so intrigued by spaghetti squash. I am not a squash person so I keep avoiding it but I feel that at some point I have to take the plunge because anything that looks like spaghetti but isn’t is worth the effort. Pinning this!

    • blowingoffsteamandmore February 22, 2013 at 7:26 AM Reply

      I just made this last night and it was delicious! I added some Parm on top because we love cheese here! Thanks for the recipe!

      • the lady is a chef February 22, 2013 at 8:07 AM

        Wonderful! I’m so glad you enjoyed it 🙂 Parmesan is a great addition – cheese is always the right way to go. Yum.

      • blowingoffsteamandmore February 22, 2013 at 9:34 AM

        I just did a post referencing your recipe and telling everyone how great it was! 🙂

  2. […] I have wanted to try spaghetti squash for years.  I don’t even like most types of squash but I was fascinated by the fact that it looks like spaghetti and you can use it like you would use spaghetti.  The funny thing is I don’t like spaghetti either, I prefer more hearty pasta, but this just seemed too cool to pass up.  I finally saw a recipe that looked simple and yummy on The Lady is a Chef. […]

  3. Cameron McKinney March 17, 2013 at 7:42 PM Reply

    Tried this tonight. Initially, I just nuked the squash after poking some holes in it. Turned out pretty well. Thanks. Tried some with a spaghetti sauce to see if it could satisfy a pasta craving (trying to avoid carbs) and I think it just might.

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