Apr 19 2010

No Noodles

Published by at 10:03 pm under Dinner,Lunch

My dad was the first person to introduce me to spaghetti squash a few years ago, when he talked about it as if it were magic. “You throw it in the oven for a little while, and it comes out in these long strands. Like noodles!” he said incredulously. Needless to say, I developed a fascination with the sneaky vegetable-slash-starch that was only recently satisfied.

When I was living on my own in New York, I tried to make the squash via what I understood his instructions to be, with the attitude of a typical college student. I baked it in oil for not nearly long enough, then drowned it in canned, pre-made red sauce for pasta. Not surprisingly, I didn’t make it again for a very long time.

But my most recent attempt was much more fruitful, and I attribute that success to a few things. First, be patient. It needs to roast in the oven for no less than 45 minutes, or you won’t get your perfect strands. Also, avoid too-heavy sauces. As much as you want to believe spaghetti squash is just like the real carb, it doesn’t hold up very well under a watery tomato puree.

I’d recommend tossing the squash in a light vinaigrette-style sauce and topping it with whatever veggies you have. And a little cheese and meat will make any dish heartier — just ask my assistant. I used a delicious, soft Gouda made of cow’s and sheep’s milk that I had on hand, but regular parmesan or goat cheese would work just as well.

Roasted Spaghetti Squash with Steamed Broccoli and Prosciutto

Ingredients (Serves 2):

1 medium spaghetti squash

1 bunch broccoli (about 4-5 big stalks)

Juice of 2 lemons

1 tbsp. butter

1/2 tsp. honey

1/2 tsp. cumin

3 tbsp. capers

1/3 cup grated Gouda cheese

About 3 ounces prosciutto, thinly sliced

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Cut squash in half lengthwise (this is no easy feat; use a big knife). Rinse a baking sheet with water, retaining some of the moisture on the sheet. Place squash halves face-down on baking sheet and roast in oven for 45 minutes.

Steam broccoli with a pinch of salt until tender, about 10 to 15 minutes. In a small pot, combine lemon juice, butter, honey, cumin and capers, and simmer until butter is melted and flavors are well-mixed.

Removed squash from oven, turn face-up, and use a fork to separate into long strands. Set strands aside in a bowl, and toss with lemon juice mixture. Top squash with broccoli florets, cheese, and prosciutto. Add a pinch of salt and pepper to taste.

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