Monday, January 14, 2013

What's Cooking? Nature's Spaghetti

As half Italian, I almost feel like I have a duty to make and consume pasta. Now, I don't really eat pasta very often, and even less frequently spaghetti (don't worry, olive oil and crusty bread is a different story). But it is really a very versatile staple food item, to which you can add just about any vegetable for a fun or interesting meal. So what is a girl to do in this situation? Luckily, I picked up a goodie at the farmers market...enter winter squash.

Cucurbita pepo, the spaghetti squash, is not your typical pumpkin in that once cooked, the flesh becomes stringy and spaghetti-like. In exploring this peculiar veggie a bit further, I discovered that it was developed in Manchuria, China during the 1890's. Introduced in the US in the late 1930's, it didn't find much popularity until World War II, and then not again until the 1960's. (Check out the timeline at the very end of this article). But it would not be the historical element that draws people to spaghetti squash. It can be a nutritious alternative to pasta if you dress it up with marinara, and has a really subtle flavor so that you can have a lot of fun with different ingredient combos. Here's what I did last night:

Spaghetti a la Pomodoro e Cavoletto
1 spaghetti squash, cooked and gutted
3/4 cup sundried tomatoes (I had some preserved from the summer!)
15 Brussels sprouts, quartered
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1/4 cup olive oil
Salt to taste

1. Roast Brussels sprouts tossed in 1 tbs olive oil and salt to taste in an oven at 375F, for about 15-20 minutes. 
2. Meanwhile, mix sundried tomatoes and the rest of the olive oil. Once sprouts have roasted to tenderness, remove. Sprinkle the scooped out squash with nutritional yeast and then toss with olive oil, sprouts, and tomatoes. Add salt to taste. 

Want more tasty morsels? Check out Wellness Weekends, and below are a few more spaghetti squash recipes:

1 comment:

Ricki said...

Hi Rachel,

You can post it tomorrow--on Wellness Weekend! (You can post older recipes--so no worries!). :)