The spaghetti squash (Cucurbita pepo) (also called vegetable spaghetti, noodle squash, spaghetti marrow (in the UK) , spaghetti melon or shark fin melon 鱼翅瓜 to Chinese) is an oblong seed-bearing variety of winter squash.
The fruit can range either from ivory to yellow or orange in colour or green with white streaks. Its centre contains many large squash seeds. Its flesh is bright yellow or orange or white for the latter variety. When raw, the flesh is solid and similar to other raw squash; when cooked, the flesh falls away from the fruit in ribbons or strands like spaghetti or shark's fin (when cooked in a soup form). Spaghetti squash can be baked, boiled or steamed, and served with sauce as for pasta, or used as a vegetable base for macaroni and cheese. Spaghetti squash contains many nutrients including folic acid, potassium, vitamin A, and beta carotene. It is also a food low in calories, averaging 75 calories in 8 cooked ounces. It is a Chinese native vegetable. It has a delicious buttery flavour and is well worth trying to obtain, though not often seen in supermarkets. The trick is to grow it yourself.
How to cook spaghetti squash
Boil on hob
- Heat a pot of water large enough to hold the whole squash
- When the water is boiling, add the squash and boil for 20 to 30 minutes, depending on its size
- When a fork goes easily into the flesh, the squash is done
Bake in Oven
- Pierce the whole shell several times with a large fork or skewer and place in baking dish
- Cook squash in a preheated oven at 190°C (375°F - Gas 5 ) for approximately 1 hour or until flesh is tender
Slow cooker (Crock pot)
- Place the spaghetti squash in the slow cooker and add 2 cups of water
- Pierce the whole shell several times with a large fork or skewer
- Cook on low for 8 to 9 hours
- Cut the squash in half, lengthwise
- remove the seeds
- Place squash with the open side up in a microwave dish using 1/4 cup of water
- Cover with plastic wrap and cook on high for 10 to 12 minutes, depending on size of squash
Ways to serve spaghetti squash
- Scoop out the flesh, add a knob of butter and season with salt and pepper.
- Make a simple cheese sauce and pour into the cooked halves.
- Fill the cooked halves with a prawn curry.
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