Thursday, February 05, 2009

Recipe for Twice-Baked Spaghetti Squash with Pesto and Parmesan

Spaghetti SquashHave you tried spaghetti squash? It's a type of winter squash that's low-glycemic enough to be considered a phase one food for the South Beach Diet, and in Utah it's a trendy plant for home vegetable gardeners. The spaghetti squash in these pictures is from my 2008 garden, and although I'm not a fan of spaghetti squash as a substitute for pasta, I love to eat it as a side dish. This easy-to-make Twice-Baked Spaghetti Squash with Pesto and Parmesan is definitely something I'll be making again.

Spaghetti Squash is easy to grow, low in calories, and versatile. This winter version of spaghetti squash is for Weekend Herb Blogging, hosted this week by The Daily Tiffin. If you'd like to participate, you can always check with Haalo at Cook (almost) Anything At Least Once to see Who's Hosting Weekend Herb Blogging.

Cut spaghetti squash in half lengthwise and use a sharp spoon to scrape out the seeds and stringy gunk that's around the seeds.

After I scraped out seeds, I cut off the ends of the spaghetti squash, drizzled the inside with a little olive oil and then rubbed on a little bit of Rosemary-Garlic Rub. I think other types of seasoning could be used if you didn't want to make that herb blend.

Put the seasoned spaghetti squash on a cookie sheet, cut side up, add water to the baking sheet, and roast at 400F/200C until the spaghetti squash pulls apart easily with a fork, like shown in the photo above. I was using a small toaster oven, and this took about 50 minutes for me.

Scrape the spaghetti squash strands into a plastic bowl and gently mix in 2 T pesto and 1/2 cup grated parmesan. Put squash into a gratin dish, top with a little more grated parmesan and baked at 400 about 20-30 minutes more.


Twice-Baked Spaghetti Squash with Pesto and Parmesan
(Makes about 6 servings, recipe created by Kalyn.)

Ingredients:
1 large spaghetti squash (6-8 lbs.)
1 T olive oil
1 tsp. Rosemary Garlic Rub (or use other seasoning of your choice
2 T basil pesto
1/2 cup + 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste

Instructions:
Preheat oven to 400F/200C. Wash outside of spaghetti squash if it's dirty, then cut squash in half lengthwise. Use a sharp pointed spoon to scrape out seeds and stringy gunk that's around the seeds.

Cut ends off squash if desired, then rub inside surface with a small amount of olive oil and Rosemary Garlic Rub. Put squash on baking sheet and pour 1/4 cup water around bottom of squash. Roast squash, starting to check after about 40 minutes and removing when squash is still firm but strings apart fairly easily into spaghetti-like strands.

Let squash cool a few minutes if needed, then scrape out strands into a plastic bowl and discard skins. Gently mix in pesto and 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, then pour squash/cheese mixture into a gratin dish and top with 1/4 cup more parmesan cheese. Bake 20-30 minutes more, until mixture is slightly bubbling and cheese is melted. Serve hot.



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South Beach Suggestions:
Spaghetti squash like this is a perfect side dish for any phase of the South Beach Diet or any other type of low-glycemic eating plan. This would taste great with something like Pork Roast with Rosemary Herb Rub or Grilled Flat Iron Steak with Chimichurri Sauce.

More Ways to Cook Spaghetti Squash
(Recipes from other blogs may not always be South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)
Spaghetti Squash Cooked as a Summer Squash from Kalyn's Kitchen
Spaghetti Squash New Mexican from Karina's Kitchen
Spaghetti Squash with Ricotta, Sage, and Pine Nuts from The Kitchn
Spicy, Garlicy Spaghetti Squash from The Kitchen Sink
Spaghetti Squash with Green Onions from Nook and Pantry
(Want even more spaghetti squash recipes? I find these recipes from other blogs using Food Blog Search.)

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38 comments:

Pearl said...

my mama bought spaghetti squash one time, but it went bad before we could eat it :(

Bellini Valli said...

Spaghetti squash was always on our table. I love the addition of pesto and Parmesan too:D

Joanne said...

This is actually perfectly timed because just last night I was looking for spaghetti squash recipes. This looks great!

Eileen said...

I love spaghetti squash...will love making this recipe. Thanks-didn't know it was that good for you too.
I just love the taste.

mommy4life said...

This sounds great. I can't wait to try it.

carole with an "e" in NYC said...

Good morning Kalyn,
I was happy to see that one of my favorites, spaghetti squash, is healthy too. I usually just roast this as you started it, but add a little butter to the herbs and then just scrape out the squash for a side. And I usually eat the leftover squash for breakfast (cold) I love it so much. Thanks for this variation; my husband will be happy with the change!

Jeanne said...

Oh, I love the sound of that! After my hilariously bungled attempt at roasted spaghetti squash with the skin on, I am keen to try another recipe - and the flavours in this one sound perfect!

lizriz said...

I love Spaghetti Squash, and we've got perfect weather for it right now in SoCal!

Lynda said...

I am wanting to try spaghetti squash and this sounds like the right recipe to use!Pesto and cheese, yum!

Sarah said...

This sounds amazing :) I am now on Phase 2 and looking for variety in my menu.

Thanks for the great recipe!

Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) said...

Spaghetti squash was such a fad food for a while -- I remember so many dinner parties where the host made "spaghetti and meatballs" with spaghetti squash. So much better to let it be the wonderful vegetable it is! I'm jealous that you have your own garden-grown squash. How long will it keep after harvest?

Kalyn said...

What a day of running around I've had; hence no responding to comments until now. I do read and appreciate them all though. Glad to know so many people like spaghetti squash. I was shocked recently to discover it's phase one for South Beach. Lydia, it keeps for months and months. Definitely going to grow it again next year!

T.W. Barritt at Culinary Types said...

I love spaghetti squash and got it several times from my CSA last summer. I've always struggled a bit with the seasoning .. sometimes it's too bland, and other times, I over compensate and it's too spicey. This strikes me as a delicious balance.

Kalyn said...

TW, thanks. I have to admit, I've made some pretty bland versions of spaghetti squash myself. It definitely needs something to spice it up!

Sarah Caron said...

That looks divine! I love spaghetti squash -- especially with tomatoes and garlic on top. Mmmm! I am going to have to add this to my to-try list.

Debbi said...

Thanks for the recipe! I love spaghetti squash! I hope to talk BF into putting it into our garden this year! I normally eat it with just butter and Parm cheese, either alone or as a side..have sometimes used it as a pasta sub. I can't wait to try this!!

Kalyn said...

Sarah, hope you like it!

Debbi, nothing beats growing your own veggies! Good luck with that project.

Terri said...

Kalyn: This looks delicious. It could be served as a light lunch or as a side dish. I'd like to serve spaghetti squash more often, but I really never know what to do with it. Thanks for sharing. :D

Kevin said...

That looks like a nice way to enjoy some spaghetti squash.

Genie said...

Kalyn, I'm not sure why it's never occurred to me to twice-bake spaghetti squash, but this recipe sounds awesome! I don't generally use it as a sub for pasta either -- realistically, it's NOT the same, and it does have that sweet flavor -- but I do enjoy it a lot as a side, or even, with a good roasted tomato sauce, as a main dish. I'm going to have to give this a try -- one of the things I don't like about it is that sometimes it can give off tons of water. I'm guessing twice-baking it eliminates some of that.

realgoldn said...

Man i dont have any pesto

realgoldn said...

can you freeze squash if so should it be before or after cooking

Kalyn said...

Realgoldn, I've never tried freezing spaghetti squash. I've frozen other kinds of winter squash though and the results are usually not too good for plain squash. It will freeze okay as part of a soup or stew, but for plain squash the frozen squash gets pretty waterey. I doubt that spaghetti squash will be that great frozen, but if you try it please let us know how it turns out.

Anonymous said...

I was hooked on almost this exact recipe for MONTHS. I'd have it a few times a week as my main dinner. Except I use feta cheese. Give that a try... awwwwesome!

Renee said...

Kalyn,
You speed up the process, you can microwave the spaghetti squash, then use the rest of the recipe. Pierce squash in several places, place on paper towel, then microwave uncovered for about 15-20 minutes, turning over once during cooking time. Let cool 10 minutes, then cut in half, remove seeds and fibers.

Kalyn said...

Renee, thanks for the tip.

Linda said...

Another delicious recipe, Kalyn. Thanks!!

Anna said...

This looks REALLY yummy, I can't wait to make it! I've been looking around at spaghetti squash recipes and it seems like they all have different cooking instructions: cut side up, cut side down, with water, without water, 30 mins, 90 mins.

I saw that you suggested cut side up, with water for 50 mins. Do you know why there are so many other directions?

Kalyn said...

Anna, don't really know, but I think spaghetti squash is something where there are a lot of ways to cook it, so that might be why. I know people who just microwave it, and they swear it turns out fine.

Amy said...

I actually just tried this for the first time tonight. I microwaved it in a dish with 1/4 cup of water like the South Beach Diet book told me to. It came our similar to the consistency of sauerkraut. Is it supposed to be drier? Is it actually supposed to look like spaghetti? Maybe next time I will try roasting it dry in the microwave. It didn't taste bad though, despite looking like a hot dog topping.

Kalyn said...

I wouldn't use water to cook spaghetti squash in the microwave. I actually haven't cooked it with a microwave, although I know some people do. I think oven roasting will give a drier texture, and yes it does resemble thin spaghetti.

Anonymous said...

I too don't like it as a pasta sub. but last summer I made it into spagetti squash pancake like a potatoe pancake. It is especially good if you freeze it after you cook it. Then squeeze out your squash after it thaws then mix it with cheese and garlic salt. Then cook pancake til crispy. love your website.

Kalyn said...

Thank you! Love the Sound of your spaghetti squash pancake.

Danielle said...

I have some fresh basil I'd like to use in this, but I don't have a food processor to make my own pesto. How do you think this would be with finely chopped basil instead of pesto, tossed with a little olive oil? Thanks Kalyn!

Kalyn said...

I think it would still be good. In Italy they make pesto by hand with a mortar and pestle, so you could try that if you have one of those.

Katie Clark said...

I used spaghetti squash for the first time recently, and I'm a believer now. I featured this recipe on the Clark's Condensed first Sunday Dinner Party post, come grab a button if you want :) And if you'd like the picture of your food included in the blog, let me know. I just didn't want to use it without your permission :)

http://www.clarkscondensed.com/2013/01/sunday-dinner-party.html

Judy said...

Thanks so much for this recipe. I was given a spaghetti squash today and had never cooked one. This was easy and delicious.

Kalyn Denny said...

Judy, so glad you enjoyed it!

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