As promised, I engaged in another session of spaghetti squash culinary experimentation. This time, I made sure to take plenty of photos to share with my loyal readers. The occasion for the evening? My good friend Ashley was making her first visit to the new condo, and we decided to ban all man-folk in favor of a ladies’ dinner.
Here’s how to whip up a phenomenal dinner of spaghetti squash in a homemade tomato sauce with veggies: First, split open your giant squash. My first attempt at Marisa’s house involved a long round of slashing and knife wielding, but this second effort proved much easier. I was able to easily wedge my biggest knife into the squash and crack it open, as is shown in the first picture below. Next, I scooped out the gooey pulp in the same manner you would approach gutting a pumpkin, as illustrated in the second picture. Then, pop that sucker into the oven at about 425 degrees, and let it sit for a while.
In the meantime, I got started on chopping all the veggies and preparing the sauce. I included green peppers, onion, yellow squash, zucchini, carrots and garlic for this sauce. My only regret is that I wish I had chopped up the vegetables more finely, so keep that in mind. The sauce was made using regular ‘ole Hunts canned tomato sauce and a whole load of spices. My favorite part of cooking? My ‘crap bowl’ – it’s the spare bowl where all scraps, onion skins, garlic butts and other cooking debris get tossed.
Once everything is all prepared, toss your veggies into the sauce and let them simmer for a while to release their flavors and soak up the spices. Your spaghetti squash will be ready for forking soon, so check up on it frequently. You’ll know it’s ready once you can run your fork against the fleshy inside and long strains of squash peel off like, well, spaghetti. Then throw that goodness into the sauce and let everything cook for at least ten minutes, on low. Don’t pull a Katie and try to cook everything on high – it won’t work.
When everything has had time to properly simmer, sizzle and sauce-ify, you’re ready for dinner. You can eat spaghetti squash solo, but I enjoy putting a small bed of regular spaghetti underneath to add some variation to the texture of each bite. Adding regular pasta is also a great idea if you’re looking to keep lots of leftovers, or if you have a large group of guests to feed. We paired our saucy morsels with freshly baked rolls, crisp salads with mango poppy seed dressing, and a new brew I picked up, Cable Car Amber Ale – which tasted strangely like soy sauce in my opinion.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to the coast. Niko, Jeff and Kendal have gone off on a 90-mile bike ride to Saint George Island – crazy, I know. They set out at about 7:00 AM this morning, and a group of us will be riding in a caravan, in cars, to meet them out by the beach. We’ve planned an evening of camping either on Saint George Island or in Tate’s Hell National Park, and will enjoy cold beers under the stars, warm embers from our campfire and sleeping in the hatchback of my car. It ain’t a climbing trip, but it will definitely be an adventure. Enjoy your long weekend, readers!