Spaghetti Squash is one of the tastiest and most unique winter squash varieties around. It’s a seasonal food that is harvested in the early fall and available through winter. There are several varieties of Spaghetti type squash including “Vegetable Spaghetti,” originating in China, “Orangetti,” a hybrid developed in Israel in the ’80,s, and “Stripetti,” which looks like a delicata but is spaghetti like inside and tastes like a sweet potato.
Description: Spaghetti squash are pale white to yellow or orange and are oblong in shape. One squash can weigh anywhere between 4 and 8 pounds–for every pound expect about 1.25 cups of squash. Spaghetti squash are bland to sweet tasting and can be used just like spaghetti noodles.
Nutritional Value: Spaghetti squash are very low in calories. The orange varieties are high in beta carotene, and all varieties contain potassium, Vitamin A, and folic acid.
Storing: Spaghetti squash can be stored at room temperature for a month until you are ready to use it. They can also be stored in a root cellar for the duration of winter and into spring, just like other types of winter squash.
Cooking: You can bake or boil a spaghetti squash whole. To bake, poke several holes with a skewer in the squash and place the whole thing on a roasting pan. Bake at 375 degrees for around an hour or until the flesh is tender. To boil, dunk the whole squash in a big pot of boiling water and cook for about 20-30 minutes. Check it like you would a potato-if it’s soft, it’s cooked.
After the squash is cooked, let it cool for about 20 minutes or so unless you don’t mind working with a very hot squash and the possibility of getting burned. When it’s cool enough to handle, cut the squash open and remove the seeds with a spoon. Next, take a fork and run the tines lengthwise along the flesh of the squash, peeling the “spaghetti” strings out.
Preserving: Spaghetti squash can be cooked, seeds and pulp removed and then the pulp can be frozen. It is not recommended to can spaghetti squash, but you can dehydrate it. To dehydrate spaghetti squash, cook it, remove the strings then dry for four hours at 125 degrees. To rehydrate, boil the strings for 4 minutes.
Morracan-spiced Spaghetti Squash
Baked Spaghetti Squash with Garlic and Butter
Spaghetti Squash with Apples and Pecans
To find locally grown Spaghetti Squash, check out Pick-A-Pepper.com, and search to see what is available in your zip code.
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