CRAP! You mean summer is over? Already?? I didnâ€™t get into my bikini one time all summer and now itâ€™s time to start layering on those socks/turtlenecks/sweaters/raincoats?!
Well, I guess fall isnâ€™t all fail. There is college football [Ed. note: Go Ducks!] andâ€¦umâ€¦ummmâ€¦. OK, maybe just college football.
Seriously, dear readers, I was not made to live in a cold, dark, rainy climate, but somehow Iâ€™ve lived in Portland many years of my life.
Anyhoozles, I guess if you need to adjust to chilly temps and never-ending overcast skies, thereâ€™s no better way than making something warm, tasty and in season. Hot apple cider with brandy? Nopeâ€¦Iâ€™m talkinâ€™ SPAGHETTI SQAUSH! (But now I really want that spiked hot apple cider, too.)
Iâ€™ve only recently re-introduced myself to spaghetti squash. I had it as a kid, but completely overlooked it as an adult. And, honestly, I regret Iâ€™ve waited this long. The flavor is mildly sweet and can be mixed with a variety of ingredientsâ€”from simple to really complex flavors. Itâ€™s also very filling, but low in carbs and calories.
And, no, it doesnâ€™t really taste like pasta spaghetti.
When looking to purchase your very own spaghetti squash, look for ones that are the most yellow in color, still very firm and about 3-4 pounds. Spaghetti squash is considered a â€œwinterâ€ squash and they keep well in dark, cool pantries/cabinets. So stock up!
BTW, click on the pics for a bigger, better view.
How to make the perfect spaghetti squash:
– Buy one medium-size spaghetti squash
– Heat your oven to 400 degrees
– Make lots of puncture wounds in the squash with a paring knife so it doesnâ€™t explode in the oven! (This may or may not be a myth, but Stumptown Lunch plays it safe.)
– Line a baking dish/pan with aluminum foil and bake for 50 minutes to an hour (just until the outside is soft to the touchâ€”with an oven mitt on, duh!)
– Remove from oven; let cool
– Slice lengthwise
– Scoop out the seeds with a spoon; discard those gnarly parts in your compost/trash
– With a fork, carefully scrape out the spaghetti-like â€œinnardsâ€ of the squashâ€”place them in a bowl and set aside
– Heat 2 tablespoons of EVOO in a skillet on medium heat
– Two cloves of minced garlic (or more if you like garlic)
– One finely diced shallot
– One teaspoon of red chile pepper flakes
– Sprinkle in salt and pepper to taste
– Once the shallots are soft and the garlic starts to brown, remove from heat and carefully mix in the spaghetti squash
– 1/4 cup of shredded Parmesan cheese
– Two tablespoons of chopped fresh basil (dried basil will work, just use less)
– Fresh ground pepper
There are tons of variations for this simple recipe, and I’m looking forward to trying out all sorts of different ingredients this fall! Next time I’m trying it with Feta, black olives and diced tomatoes.
[Recipe inspired by Food with Dottie]