Squash the Pasta Craving

A friend was at the market the other day and exclaimed, "Just the sight of these winter squash cooled me down." And how right she was.

Though summer squash is versatile, it is "summer" squash. Considering it is almost September in South Texas, we have had our fill of yellow squash, golden zucchini and green zucchini. Since May.

Lucky for us, the early arrival of winter squash at Kubena Farms in Seguin means we can begin our edible transition into fall. Think acorn, butternut and spaghetti squash.

While we have made zoodles with zucchini, our favorite "non-pasta pasta" is, hands-down, spaghetti squash. My only complaint with this particular winter squash was that I would struggle with cutting this seriously hard winter squash in half before baking it. I can't tell you how many times the knife just hung there, stuck in the center of this hard squash until I could get David's strength to help push it through. In fact, I would never even think about making this if he weren't home to save the day.

Thanks to Elana Amsterdam and her wonderful blog, Elana's Pantry, I can now cook spaghetti squash whenever I want. Anytime. Whether David's home or not.

That's right. I don't fight with the spaghetti squash anymore. I bake it whole.

Just deeply prick the spaghetti squash twice with a fork, place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet and put it in a 350 degree oven for one hour. Once it's cooked and cooled, it will so easily slice in half and, then effortlessly, you can scoop out the seeds.

The real fun is turning the spaghetti squash into noodles. Using a fork, just scrape and pull and, before you know it, you will have a plate full of "pasta." No, it's not "pasta," but this paleo version is completely satisfying. After he cleaned his plate with this Meatless Monday meal,  he said, "This was really good."

And if my picky husband says that about this paleo meal, that's quite a vote of confidence. Perhaps this recipe will also help you squash the pasta craving.

Buen provecho!
Perfect Paleo Spaghetti (Squash)
The Cowgirl Gourmet is grateful to Elana's Pantry for this trick

Print recipe

If you love spaghetti but not the carbs, give spaghetti squash a chance. Top with your favorite tomato sauce and Parmesan, meatballs, Italian sausage, sauteed mushrooms or just drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and generous amounts of Parmesan.

Serves 4

1 spaghetti squash, about 3 pounds

Toppings: tomato sauce, sauteed mushrooms, meatballs, Italian sausage, fresh herbs, grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Using a fork, prick the spaghetti squash twice--one on either side. Place squash on the lined baking sheet.
Once the oven is at temperature, place in the oven and cook for 60 minutes. (Cook less time for smaller squash.)

Remove from the oven and allow spaghetti squash to cool on the baking sheet for 20-30 minutes.

Cut squash in half lengthwise, scoop out the seeds with a spoon and then, using a fork, scrape the cooked flesh into "spaghetti" noodles. One half will generously serve two people.

Top "spaghetti" with your favorite tomato sauce and any additional toppings such as sauteed mushrooms, Italian sausage and grated Parmesan cheese.

Reserve any remaining "spaghetti" and store in the refrigerator.
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