Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Stuffed Spaghetti Squash

A long time ago my friend told me about spaghetti squash, named that way because its flesh comes apart in long strands after being cooked. I had wanted to try it for quite some time but somehow just never got around to it. A few weeks ago I finally bought just one spaghetti squash at the store and decided to bake it at home. I got the idea online to use the squash itself as a serving vessel for a simple vegetarian dish.

Honestly the hardest part about the whole experience was cutting the squash open. If you have ever tried it you would probably agree that cutting squash can be cumbersome and whenever I have the option, I always go for the pre-cut choice. However once I had it split open the rest was a breeze. While the squash was roasting in the oven, I quickly sauteed some onions and peppers and added a little tomato paste to the mix. Once the squash was tender I used a fork to scrape out the insides, mixed it with the sauteed veggies, added a bit of chopped cilantro, and then put the mixture back into the shells. Then I just sprinkled some cheese over top and stuck it under the broiler for a few minutes just to melt the cheese.

Because I was making the squash for the first time I prepared only one, however each shell was a big enough portion to feed two people. Also, I chose to keep the dish vegetarian but some ground meat could easily be mixed in to make the dish even heartier, though I did like the freshness of having vegetables alone. Overall I was quite satisfied with how the squash turned out and I think I will be making it again soon.

Stuffed Spaghetti Squash
Note: Other vegetables such as mushrooms and zucchini can also be added or even ground meat.
  • 1 small spaghetti squash, split in half and seeds removed
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 3 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground tumeric
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • Handful fresh cilantro, chopped
  • Handful shredded cheese
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  1. Lightly drizzle olive oil over the flesh of the cut squash and sprinkle with some salt and pepper. Rub it in so that the flesh is completely coated then place on a baking tray, skin side down, and bake for 30 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit. The flesh should be easy to pierce all the way through with a knife once it is cooked.
  2. While the squash is cooking, heat some olive oil over medium heat and saute the chopped onions for 3-5 minutes, or until they start to become transluscent.
  3. Add the chopped garlic and continue to cook for another minute until the garlic becomes fragrant.
  4. Add the chopped pepper and cook for another 3-5 minutes or until it begins to soften. 
  5. Mix in the tomato paste, ground cumin, tumeric, and coriander and stir well to incorporate. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  6. Once the squash is done, use a fork to scrape the flesh from the shell and add it to the sauteed vegetables. Mix the squash with the other ingredients in the pan and add the chopped cilantro as well.
  7. Distribute the stuffing evenly between the shells and sprinkle some shredded cheese over top. Return the baking tray with the stuffed squash into the oven and broil for about 3 minutes or until the cheese on top is melted.

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