4

AndyTalk: Spaghetti Squash ... It's Comfort Food, It's Healthy, and It's Procrastinator-Friendly

^
Keep New Times Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Phoenix and help keep the future of New Times free.

It's 5 P.M., I just got back from an out-of-town wedding, I'm hungry, and the only thing I know for sure is that I'm staying home. I have a spaghetti squash on my counter, and some cherry tomatoes that I put in the refrigerator before I left for the wedding. I know that tomatoes ought not be refrigerated, but I didn't think they'd survive on the counter for four days while I was away.

See Also: AndyTalk: Underneath the Tough Exterior of Butternut Squash

I also have some lovely Queen Creek olive oil - Meyer lemon infused, and a shallot. It's as if my nearly bare kitchen and my eat-less-meat New Year's resolution conspired to see if I was really serious about going meatless a couple of days each week.

The nice thing about spaghetti squash is that it offers both quantity and quality. Roast a halved and seeded squash and you'll get a big bowl of golden, tender, al-dente-textured (and gluten free) faux spaghetti. A single two-pound squash turns out about the same amount of spaghetti-shaped food as a 12-ounce package of angel hair pasta.

For a really quick fix, especially as a side dish, you can toss the hot-out-of-the-oven just-forked squash with your favorite ready-made basil or sundried tomato pesto. It's also great tossed in butter or olive oil and seasoned with a dash of ground nutmeg, salt and pepper. A little fresh grated Parmesan or Asiago cheese finishes the dish.

I like to add fresh cherry tomatoes, roasted in the same oven as the squash. I halve the tomatoes, so that when I toss them with the spaghetti (and some olive oil) they turn into a sort of chunky sauce. Salt, pepper, and dash of nutmeg finish the dish. If I'm aiming for vegan I'm done; if I want vegetarian I add grated cheese; and If I crave flesh I add some grilled chicken.

Other options with spaghetti squash (always including a little olive oil or butter and seasoned with salt and pepper):

  • Sliced almonds or pecans, plus dried cranberries, and a few tablespoons of maple syrup,
  • Cool the cooked, shredded spaghetti squash and add to your favorite slaw recipe,
  • Toss in some shredded kale or steamed chopped Brussels sprouts, lemon juice, and a tablespoon or two of orange marmalade.

One last thing about spaghetti squash; it has a long shelf life. The one I made for dinner had been in a bowl on my counter for at least six weeks. In other words, if you're a procrastinator spaghetti squash should be on your shopping list.

Andy Broder is the chef/owner of AndyFood, A Culinary Studio.

Follow Chow Bella on Facebook , Twitter, and Pinterest.

Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

 

Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.

 

Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.