Spaghetti Squash with Gruyere and "Bacon"
I have a bad habit of buying squash and letting them sit around for months. I find their variety, their colors and shapes, very appealing and, when I see them in the store, I want to take them home so they can look pretty in wicker baskets in my kitchen.
So yesterday, when I came home with three large squash (two acorns and a spaghetti) and realized I already had a butternut I still hadn't used, I knew I needed to take immediate action. I chose the spaghetti squash because I'd never cooked one before.
I have to tell you the transformation of the spaghetti squash from squash to spaghetti is completely miraculous. If you haven't cooked one of these, you absolutely must try it!
Here's the two cooked halves of the squash - all I've done to the one on the right is run a fork over it and whoa - you got spaghetti!
Why does this happen? The fibers in this squash are so tough that even with extensive cooking they don't break down, thus producing the spaghetti like strands.
The spaghetti squash tastes bland on its own, but responds just like spaghetti to sauces and flavors. We had the squash two ways, with a cheesy marinara sauce and with grated gruyere and Morningstar Bacon strip crumbles. Both were delicious. I preferred the gruyere and bacon version because it had a wonderful smoky depth that was strikingly different (the marinara version was more normal and pasta-like).
Preheat the oven to 375. Cut the squash lengthwise and scoop out the seeds and inner strands. Spray a cookie pan with light oil and place the squash cut side down. Bake for 45 minutes. Turn the squash over, add a dab of butter, and bake for an additional 10 minutes until the flesh is tender. Allow the squash to cool.
Take the squash and run a fork along the flesh. The squash will miraculously turn into spaghetti!
Warm the squash with butter or olive oil and salt and pepper.
1. Add grated gruyere and top with bacon bits.
2. Serve with marinara and Parmesan or feta.