I love pasta. In fact, I love it so much that Italy has made me an honorary citizen. Okay, I lied about that. But if there was such a fair-trade program in place (i.e. citizenship for pasta-consumption), it would totally be true.
But because carbs generally aren’t viewed as the best choice for people who are trying to lose weight, I do my best to stay away.
And then, my friends, I discovered the Spaghetti Squash.
Looking at this puppy, would you ever guess that it’s flesh could replicate actual spaghetti? I can tell you I certainly didn’t believe it would. But curiosity got the best of me, and I decided to spring for the whole 0.79 cents and try it out.
It turns out all you need to do to prepare this magical, wonderful, amazing pasta-replacement is to cut it in half length-wise, scoop out the seeds and string-y stuff in the middle, and then pop it into a pan, face-down.
Pierce the skin with a fork in a bunch of spots, and then just pop it into a 350 degree oven for 40 minutes. Then just turn each half over and continue to bake for another 10-20 minutes.
That’s it. (I know, right??)
Let it rest for a few minutes, and then just take a fork and lightly rake it along the flesh. The spaghetti squash will do the rest. Honestly. It literally comes out in long, thin strips that look and feel like cooked spaghetti.
Don’t believe me? Have a look:
Okay, so it looks pretty close to the original carb-a-licious stuff, but what does it taste like? Well, I’ve gotta say, considering I didn’t salt the flesh at all, the taste was pretty awesome. Obviously sweeter than pasta – but still, a really pleasant flavour. And the consistency is amazing. My brain actually thought I was eating pasta. And this made me happy. 🙂
I had prepared a nice meat sauce (extra lean ground beef, onions, garlic, cubanelle peppers, various spices, tomato sauce..) while the squash was baking, so as soon as I finished scooping it, all I had to do was ladle the sauce over top, and voila, dinner!
I’m officially impressed. This meal didn’t feel like the healthy-but-not-as-tasty version of other ‘substitute’ meals I’ve tried. This one actually hit the spot. It was hearty (like pasta) and held up beautifully to the heavy sauce.
I heart spaghetti squash.
But I wonder if Italy will revoke my honorary citizenship? Shh…don’t tell them.