Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Spaghetti Squash Experiment

My friend Jen has talked about spaghetti squash on several occasions, but I hadn't gotten around to trying it myself. In fact, I was at the grocery store two weeks ago, picked up a spaghetti squash, ground turkey and marinara sauce and even had Rich convinced it would be a good idea for dinner. Too bad when I googled spaghetti squash to find out how to cook it I realized I had a butternut squash. Whoops!!

This weekend I rectified my error and picked up an actual spaghetti squash. Plus, I had a dinner planned with just me and my "sister-in-law candidate." Perfect opportunity!

So I am going to be honest here. I was not so sure about this dinner. When I was younger I was not a squash fan. And I like pasta. Real pasta. So, just in case it was terrible we had a backup plan: eat at our local hang out.

With our backup plan established, we started cooking. I preheated the oven to 400* F, halved the spaghetti squash (this takes some muscle... and a large knife) and placed the halves cut-side down a baking dish. Once the oven was preheated, I put the baking dish in the oven for 30 minutes.

During that time, we chatted, sipped wine and Dominika played with our pup.
{He was grateful for such a fun playmate!}
Soon enough it was time to start the marinara sauce. To a hot pan we added olive oil, followed by half a diced onion and two cloves of minced garlic. Once the garlic was fragrant and onions softened, we added 20 oz. ground turkey. We (okay, Dominika did this part) broke the turkey into small pieces and allowed it to brown over medium heat.
{Dominika working on the marinara}
{Me posing like I'm working on the marinara}
After the turkey was fully cooked we added a jar of prepared marinara sauce and stirred the mixture. We also added fresh sage, dried basil, thyme, red pepper flakes and rosemary + more garlic. Oh, and we added chicken stock too... because I wanted a saucier-sauce.

When the timer went off, I removed the spaghetti squash from the oven. I ran a fork along the squash and sure enough... it separated into strands similar to spaghetti.
We also made garlic bread and a salad to go with our meal. Voila, time to start plating.
{See?! Looks like spaghetti}
{Dominika readied her plate}
{Our lovely meal... oh, and Malin under the table looking for scratches}
All in all, it was good. Eaten my itself, the spaghetti squash tastes like squash. But with the marinara? It definitely had spaghetti tendencies; the texture was similar to el dente spaghetti noodles. With lots of sauce it was not bad, not bad at all.

Thanks for participating in my experiment, Dominika! It turned out well... guess we didn't need that backup plan after all.


Losing It- for real said...

Ive always wondered about spaghetti squash, thanks for posting this!

Nicole said...

Hi Rachel - have you tried the spaghetti squash? If so, what'd you think?