When the beginning of the year hit, and I decided to get moving on a healthier lifestyle, one of the things I resolved to try was spaghetti squash. I LOVE pasta and this always sounded like such a delicious and easy (and not to mention super healthy) meal when I saw other bloggers posting about it. Problem was, my local supermarket didn’t seem to have any available! They had butternut squash and that was the end of that. A quick google search on my phone at the store told me that while you could substitute spaghetti squash for butternut, the reverse was not true. And thus my plans were thwarted for the time being.
Then, lo and behold, last week on my shopping trip I spotted a few! Two and a half to be exact (yes, they were selling one half), so I grabbed one of the whole ones and was on my way.
Last night was the big night. I had some free time and the ambition to cook something new, so I dragged the monster squash out of the fridge and looked up some cooking methods.
All the ones I found were like the one above, except some called for cooking it whole while others said to cut it in half. I had decided that I’d be using the microwave technique to cut down on the amount of time it would take, and I wanted to cook one half at a time due to the size of this thing.
I took out the biggest knife in the kitchen and began hacking away… and nothing happened. This thing was hard as a rock and NOTHING was getting through. I called in D and he had a go at it – still no luck. At that point, I decided to move on to plan B: putting the whole thing in the microwave in the hopes that it would soften up.
The instructions I had seen online for cooking it whole and in the microwave said to do about 9 minutes, so that’s what i put it in there for. After the 9 minutes passed, I took the squash back out and it was still rock hard. I figured it should at least be a little easier to cut in half now, so away we went one more time. Yet again, I wasn’t able to make any progress. D came back in for round 2 and hacked at that thing like you wouldn’t believe! I was afraid he was going to cut his arm off, but somehow, miraculously, he got the squash cut in half!
Of course, since the squash was still rock hard, it was not ready to be made into spaghetti, so I went back and tried plan A again: cooking it in halves in the microwave. This time I put a little oil on the open sides of the halves, covered one of them loosely with a paper towel and threw it back in the microwave for 4 minutes. At the end of the 4 minutes, some crazy sizzling noises started coming from the microwave, and yet STILL there was no progress in getting this squash any softer.
At this point, there was only one thing left to try and that was the oven. Another quick google search told me that I should roast the halves for 45 – 50 minutes at 375. It’s a good thing I had no other obligations that night! So I threw them in the oven and crossed my fingers.
I’m happy to say that attempt #4 did the trick! After 50 minutes, the squash was nice and soft and easily shredded into spaghetti-like pieces. I now have enough spaghetti squash in the fridge to last me for many, many more meals and I’m also happy to say that the result was worth it. I paired it with one of my go-to spaghetti sauces (lots of garlic, an onion, crushed tomatoes and spices) and it was a delicious and satisfying meal.
I have to say, this was not the most graceful or elegant meal that has ever been attempted in my kitchen (and that’s saying a lot because I’m VERY messy when I cook). We have a tiny kitchen and after all those attempts at getting this thing tamed, there were pieces of squash, seeds and other mess ALL over the place. Quite a cleanup effort!
It’s possible the squash wasn’t ripe enough when I started, or that it was just so large and oversized that all the microwave time estimations wouldn’t touch it. Either way, it was an adventure and at least I ended up with a good meal out of the deal!
Have you ever made a spaghetti squash? Is it just me, or are those things impossible to break into??