Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Spaghetti Squash with Garlic Oil & Parmesan

Well, fall has arrived and I must admit, I seemed to have reached my winter weight a bit early this year!  This week, I'm trying to make a few lightened-up dinners and my first stop is...Spaghetti Squash!

I feel like I may be the last one to hop on the spaghetti squash band wagon, but if you're unfamiliar (as I was until recently!), it's a larger, winter squash and after it's cooked, either by roasting or microwaving, the flesh is easily scraped into thin strands.  Now, I don't know if I would quite call it a pasta substitute as many have claimed, but it certainly passed for a delicious and healthy side dish.  Given it's mild taste, it's also incredibly versatile as it can be topped with marinara, baked with cheese, or simply sautéed.

Here's my first-timer take on a simple preparation:
* 1 spaghetti squash
* 1/3 c. olive oil
* 1/2 c. parmesan
* 1 garlic clove, minced
* 1/4 tsp. fresh ground pepper
First, cut the spaghetti squash in half (I had to have Mike do this for me!  The squash is pretty hard- almost like a pumpkin).  Place half the squash (or both sides, if it will fit in your microwave), cut side down in a microwave safe dish.  Add 1/4 c. water to the bottom of the dish and microwave on high for 10 minutes. Repeat with the second half. Once the squash is cool enough to handle, scoop out the seeds and discard.  Using a fork, rake out the squash, lengthwise, into a separate bowl.  Meanwhile, heat olive oil over medium heat in a saute pan.  Add garlic to pan and saute 30 seconds or so.  Add the squash to the pan and stir to coat the strands of the squash evenly.  Add the parmesan cheese (I used my Sarvecchio Parmesan from the Afraid to Commit- Try a Bit! bin at whole foods), fresh pepper, and stir well to combine.  Serve warm.  Enjoy!

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