Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Light Spaghetti Squash Gratin

I have a new love interest.  He's short and squat and quite a bit yellow.  He hangs around with the vegetables in the garden but, when you get him home to the privacy of your kitchen, he turns into pasta.  Dreamy, forbidden, empty carbs, pasta.  Yes, my new love is a veggie in a carb suit.  What's not to love about that?

Trying spaghetti squash has been on my to-do list for so long I'd almost forgotten about it.  But, since we're trying to eat lighter around here, I finally got around to tossing one of those babies into the oven.  After an hour, I took it out, let it cool just long enough to handle and cut it in half with a large serrated knife.  I scooped out the seeds, got a large fork and proceeded to scrape the flesh to see if it would, indeed, turn into spaghetti.  It did!

I gave it a quick taste just to see what I was dealing with.  It was bland, of course, because I hadn't seasoned it yet but I was more curious about the texture.  I'm a big veggie fan so I was pretty confident I'd like the taste but the texture gave me some pause.  Would it be stringy?  Would it turn to mush?  Happily the answer to both was no.  I quickly tossed it with some olive oil and Parmesan cheese and ate it all...an entire squash!  The next day I bought another one and began experimenting with my new obsession.  I started with a light gratin and I've been making it and eating it and making it and eating it again and again.  Enjoy!

Ingredients
1 Spaghetti squash
1 Tablespoon butter
2 Cloves garlic, minced
2 Tablespoons all purpose flour
1 Cup low fat milk
1/2 Cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 Tablespoons scallions or chives, chopped
1/4 Cup seasoned panko breadcrumbs
2 Teaspoons olive oil
Salt & pepper to taste

Using a large fork, pierce the skin of the squash several times and roast in a 400 degree oven for 1 hour.  Remove and allow to cool enough to handle.  Cut the squash in half, lengthwise, with a serrated knife.  Using a spoon, scoop out the seeds and discard.  Scrape the remaining flesh with a fork until it shreds into a spaghetti like texture.

Melt the butter in a large skillet and add the garlic.  Cook on low heat for a couple of minutes until it begins to soften.  Add the flour and whisk to incorporate it into the butter.  Add the milk and whisk continuously until the butter/flour mixture is fully incorporated and there are no lumps.  The sauce will thicken.  Add in the Parmesan cheese and herbs and remove from the heat.  When the squash is cooked and shredded, add it to the sauce, mix thoroughly and season with salt and pepper.

In a small bowl, combine the breadcrumbs with the olive oil and sprinkle on top of the squash mixture.  Bake in a 400 degree oven for approximately 20 minutes or until the breadcrumbs are a light golden brown.  Makes about 2 generous servings.

16 comments:

  1. This sounds delicious Anita. I love spaghetti squash and will have to give this a try. Pinning it.

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  2. These are my favorite type of squash! I love mine sautéed in a bit of olive oil with fresh dill. That's it! Can't wait to try this recipe!

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  3. Oh yeah, this is my kind of pasta. I adore spaghetti squash. My great grandmother made the best spaghetti squash when I was little. Send a plate my way, please.

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  4. Never made this!!! Need to try it asap! Looks delicious!

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  5. Oh wow, that looks so good. I adore spaghetti squash and this recipe looks definitely doable! Thanks Anita!

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  6. I wish I could eat veggies like this...but I just...can't *sigh*

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  7. I happen to have one of these babies in my kitchen courtesy of Dad...and wasn't sure exactly what to do with it. Now, I know!! I will be making this gratin this weekend.

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  8. What a great way to use a spaghetti squash! Compared to the normal way it is prepared. Love it!

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  9. This looks great - I've never tried this kind of squash before. I'm going to pin it because my daughter will love it! It reminds me of angel hair pasta.

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  10. I remember my mom making spaghetti squash, but all she did was add a little butter and salt. It was OK, but nothing that I've really wanted to make since. This though... it opens up a whole new world!! Thanks!
    Hope all is well! I've been "unplugged" for about a week and am sorely out of touch with what's going on with everyone. Happy almost weekend (sort of...)

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  11. Oh, oh, ohh!! Totally need to try this! I just started getting my hubby hooked on spaghetti squash so this would be a fun thing to make!

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  12. This sounds great! I've never used spaghetti squash before and I really want to try this! Thanks for sharing on Foodie Friends Friday!

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  13. I made this for dinner last night and it was great. I found it hard to get all of the seeds out though. Just took longer than expected. Do you think you could make the squash before, scrap it out and store it in the fridge for a day or two before using?

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    1. Hi Molly - I'm glad you enjoyed it. I think some squashes give up their seeds easier than others plus it takes a bit of practice to do it quickly. As for storing it in the fridge, I haven't tried it but I'd be concerned about it getting soggy. I hope that helps.

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  14. I microwave mine. just wash first and poke it like a potato, about 6 minutes, just keep an eye on it

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  15. Made this tonight and I threw in a little chopped bacon and sundried tomatoes into the sauce. Made for a well rounded meal!!! great recipe!!!

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