spaghetti squashin’ it

finished

I’ve often been puzzled and intimidated by spaghetti squash.  If you’ve never seen it, it’s a big, oblong yellow squash that turns into NOODLES when you cook it.  It’s amazing how much it really looks like spaghetti, and how it doesn’t turn to mush when you stir it.  I told myself that it must be only by some hoodoo folk magic that this is possible.  But as it turns out, as with many tasty dishes that I’ve been afraid to cook, it’s a cinch.  And the goodies I added to it (also cinchy) made it extra good.

I’d also like to give a shout-out to The Farmer’s Daughter CSA from KMK Farms in Kingsburg, which brought us our spaghetti squash gourd this week.  Their program is fantastic- tons of produce, herbs, even eggs and olive oil.  Plus, you get to hand-pick your box every week AND there’s no long-term commitment; you pay when you pick your box up at one of their drop-off location.  I highly recommend for Valley residents in search of a local, organic bounty.
On to the spaghetti squash…
Super Cinchy Spaghetti Squash
  1. Cut the squash in half or quarters, length-wise.
  2. Scoop out the seeds and cuts, like you would any gourd.
  3. Spread butter or olive oil on the surface of the squash.
  4. Place on a cookie sheet* in the oven at 375 for 40 minutes.
  5. Let cool enough so that you can hold the squash pieces by their rinds.  With a fork, scrape length-wise down the cooked squash and see the magical squash noodles appear before your eyes!
  6. Add Sunflower Seed Pesto and a little olive oil.  Toss, and enjoy!
 *I placed mine face-up (rind down) on the sheet, and then later read that you’re supposed to do the opposite (rind-up).  Mine worked fine, but I did cook it longer- probably an hour total.  I’m thinking face-down would cook faster.
scraping the squash
Sunflower Seed Pesto
  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast*
 Pulse all ingredients in food processor until combined and crumbly.
*I’m not sure if I’ve talked about nutritional yeast yet on this here blog.  It’s simply deactivated yeast that has a sort of buttery, nutty flavor and the consistency of cornmeal (sort of- flakier).  It’s a great source of protein and B vitamins, which makes it popular with vegans and vegetarians.  But most importantly, it’s delicious, and adds a lot of flavor and texture to things like this pesto.  
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