The Geode of Squash
This idea was actually one of my girlfriend’s ideas but it turned out so well that I thought I would post on it. She saw this recipe in a one-thing cookbook. I generally dislike these because about half way through you can usually tell that the writers are really reaching to fill 200 pages on broccoli rabe. This particular cookbook though was on “Pumpkins and Squash.” It is a large subject and was pretty short so the author didn’t have any issues filling the book with delicious dishes.
The dish my girlfriend really wanted to make was a dish involving spaghetti squash which I have never cooked before. When we found the type of squash at the farmer’s market I was very skeptical about the spaghettiness of this oblong vegetable.
I was expecting to open this thing up and see a maze of spaghetti like strands. Instead I saw what looked to be a pumpkin.
Never one to shy away just because I don’t see what I expect to see (because my expectations were based on nothing at all), I continued with the recipe. That involved baking these bad boys upside down for 60 minutes in a 350 degree oven. Scrape out all of the guts before baking. Obviously, you will want to put them in a baking dish of some sort.
While you could watch two episodes of Family Guy while these guys bake, just watch one episode and then prepare the following:
I broke away from the recipe a bit here. This is what I used:
Baked Spaghetti Squash
Yield: Serves 4.
1 large spaghetti squash, baked
1 pound cremini mushrooms, sliced
2 shallots, sliced
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup white wine
1/4 cup heavy cream
A few sprigs of thyme
Salt and pepper
1) Chop the spaghetti squash in half and bake, skin-side up, in a 350 degree F. oven for 60 minutes until squash is very tender.
2) When squash are about 20 minutes away from being done, you can start the mushrooms. Saute sliced shallots in a large skillet over medium heat in olive oil.
3) After they soften, add the sliced mushrooms and cook for 6-8 minutes until mushrooms lose their liquid and start to soften. Add wine and let reduce for a few minutes. Season with thyme, salt and pepper. Finally, stir in cream.
4) When squash is done, let it cool briefly and then use a fork to lightly fluff the squash flesh. It should peel out in strands that resemble spaghetti.
5) Divide the squash strands between a few plates and top with mushroom sauce.
Sautee the shallots in the butter and olive oil like this:
After a few minutes toss in all the mushrooms. After they start to sweat add in the wine. You want to let this reduce for a few minutes. Then add in the parsley, thyme, and cream. Stir stir stir. Salt and pepper. Done.
When you pull the squash out it will shockingly look exactly like it did when you put it in. At this point I was thinking we would probably have to rename this dish: Mush with Mushroom.
But then I put my fork in the squash pulp and just started to pull and magically (seriously, I thought it was magical) the strands pulled right out! I’ve never seen anything like it. After mixing the fork around a bit, you will end up with a bowl of spaghetti.
It is seriously as easy then as plopping some of this very light flavorful spaghetti on a plate and topping with the mushroom sauce. Be sure to get some of the cream that is at the bottom of the pan. That will be good. This is what you should see at the end.
I seriously think you could substitute spaghetti squash for real spaghetti in a lot of dishes. That said, I really love real spaghetti so I probably won’t do that. This was a very fun dish to make though and is very impressive.
I can’t believe I just wrote about a full dish without a single carb or meat. I am surely losing my mind.