Experimenting with new and unusual foods is always a great thing to do – it’s an adventure for your tastebuds and challenges (to some extent) your cooking skills. A few weeks ago I was at the Uni Farmer’s Market when I saw a spaghetti squash for the first time. Naturally, I was intrigued and so after some quick cooking advice from the stall holder I purchased one and took it home. Following the advice she gave me, I created the following mound of deliciousness, which was more than enough for two meals.
Spaghetti squash, for those of you who are wondering what on Earth it is, is like a hybrid of a butternut pumpkin and a squash, but it is also magical in the way that when roasted and then shredded with a fork it forms these beautiful angel-hair “spaghetti” strands. Consequently, spaghetti squash can be used to make a nutritious and delicious, gluten and grain-free spaghetti replacement. I think it would be great to make a pasta sauce and then pour that on top of the half of a squash! I have no doubt a recipe for that will be coming your way soon – stay tuned.
Stuffed Spaghetti Squash
- 1 spaghetti squash
- 1 small brown onion, finely diced
- 2 cloves garlic, finely diced
- 1 zucchini, diced
- 1 red capsicum, diced
- 2 fresh tomatoes, diced
- A large handful of fresh basil, torn
- Cumin, paprika, sea salt, pepper, olive oil
- Optional (omit for vego/vegans): meat of your choice. I used bacon but you could use chicken, lamb or beef.
1. Preheat the oven to 180C. Cut the squash in half length ways and use a spoon to scoop out all of the seeds from the centre. If you like you can place these seeds on a baking tray with a drizzle of olive oil and paprika and roast them – they make a delicious snack. Drizzle olive oil, salt and pepper over the squash halves and place them with the skin side facing up on a baking tray. Place in the oven and roast for 45-6o mins, or until the squash is relatively soft all the way through and easily forms beautiful spaghetti strands when you run a fork through it.
2. Whilst the squash is roasting, heat some olive oil in a large frying pan. Add to the pan the onion, garlic and meat of your choice and a generous sprinkle of cumin and paprika. Cook until the onion and garlic are soft and the meat is almost cooked through.
3. Add the diced vegetables and continue to cook over medium heat until the vegetables are soft and the meat is completely cooked. Add the basil (or any other herb of your choice) at the last minute and gently stir through the vegetable/meat mixture.
4. To serve, place one half of the squash on a plate. Drag a fork through the squash flesh to create the angel-hair spaghetti. Then spoon half of the vegetable/meat mixture into the squash and top with a fresh sprig of basil. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Have you tried a new food recently? What did you make and how did it taste?