Prepare your gourds, for squash season is upon us! It’s no surprise that squash has become synonymous with the fall season. It’s the time of year we put on our thick knit sweaters, grab our pumpkin spice coffees and repost on all of our social media channels that McSweeney’s article about it being “decorative gourd season”.
It can be daunting to cook up a thick-skinned squash. They’re large and heavy, and their skin is so thick you feel like you’re going to break your knife off the handle. But don’t let the tough skins fool you. Most squash, whether it be acorn or butternut, are meaty on the inside, and when cooked they take on a thick and creamy texture. Squash is the perfect ingredient for autumnal soups, mashed and pureed entrees, and sometimes they make nifty bowls that are both delicious and aesthetically pleasing when stuffed.
But something peculiar happens to the spaghetti squash when cooked – its insides turn into thin, fibrous strands that taste like squash but look like spaghetti. And because it is a mildl squash, it takes on the flavor of what you cook it with – olive oil, spices, garlic and all.
For this recipe, it’s like enjoying an entire Italian meal. The spaghetti squash is complemented by a sautéed spinach and creamy cheese blend while the garlic and capers gives the dish its salty and earthy flavor.
- 1 medium to large spaghetti squash
- 3 tablespoons garlic, minced
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (in separate bowls)
- 5 ounces fresh spinach, chopped 4 tablespoons capers
- 3/4 cup tomatoes, chopped
- 1/3 cup cream
- 1 tablespoon cream cheese
- 1/2 cup Pecorino-Romano cheese
- 1/2 cup Mozzarella cheese, shredded
- 1 Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- 2 Slice the squash in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds.
- 3 Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper, or foil.
- 4 Drizzle 1/2 tablespoon olive oil in each side of squash, rubbing it all over the interior of the squash. Place on the baking sheet upside-down. Roast in oven for about 30 minutes.
- 5 Remove from oven and turn over and roast for an additional 15-20 minutes, or until the squash is tender and easily pierced with a fork. Once done and cooled, separate the squash with a fork into strands, and leave the squash inside of each piece.
- 6 In a skillet, on low to medium heat, sauté the garlic in 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Do not allow it to burn.
- 7 Add the spinach and cook until wilted. Add the capers, tomatoes and sauté for 1-2 more minutes. Add cream, cream cheese, Pecorino-Romano cheese and stir well.
- 8 Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- 9 Scoop spinach-tomato mixture evenly into both pieces of baked squash. Sprinkle with Mozzarella cheese.
- 10 Broil for a few minutes until the top is lightly browned.