The Veg Plot

Spaghetti squash. The veg that thinks it’s pasta

spaghetti squash ripening

This year, not for the first time, I failed to properly label my pots of sown squash seeds and had no idea as to the identity of each variety by the time they were ready to plant out. So I randomly selected nine plants to grow on, waiting until they bore fruit before I could be sure of their names.

The final count ran to a single black beauty courgette; two yellow sunbeam courgettes; one pink banana squash; and five spaghetti squashes. I definitely sowed some Lebanese squashes (I actually thought the young pink bananas were Lebanese, which is more of a courgette, and ate them while soft, thus not enjoying a fully ripe banana). And I’ve got an open packet of butternut squash seeds but no evidence of them ever having been sown.

Overall, the final selection wasn’t bad for pot luck. It may look a little heavy on the spaghetti but fortunately they’re the family’s favourite.

Spaghetti squash gets it name because, when cooked and served, the soft yellow flesh resembles spaghetti pasta: thin ribbons of vegetable that sit in a shaggy mound demanding the close attention of a thick sauce.

Like all squash, they’re pretty easy to grow*. Keep the young seedlings warm, planting out when the frost risk has passed, and give them a good dose of compost to feed off. Of all my squash plants they looked the healthiest, grew the biggest, and were the last to succumb to leaf mildew – finally perishing some time after I’d harvested the goods.

To maximise size and quality it’s best to restrict each plant to just two fruit, but as their tendrils grow so long and fast (and my veg garden is a mess) it’s quite easy for a squash to emerge and steadily expand hidden from general view, so my five plants rewarded me with 13 oblong blobs in a range of sizes.

You can harvest and eat them when they look like they’ve finished swelling and their skin starts to deepen in colour, but give them a little longer to harden if you want to store them for a while.

How to cook spaghetti squash

To cook, simply slice them in half lengthways, scoop out the seeds (roast these separately – they’re good for you) and score the flesh with a knife. Rub a bit of oil into the cuts and bake in the oven until soft enough for a knife to slip right through them with ease (around 40 minutes at 180C as a guide). Then the magic begins. Grab a fork and ruffle the flesh with its prongs: spaghetti-esque strands instantly emerge in an appetising mound, ready for serving. Its mild, buttery flavour goes well with almost any pasta-style sauce and – I like to eat serve mine with spicy chorizo and tomato, but with 13  squash to get through I’ll have plenty of new serving options to try over the coming months.

*Except, perhaps, butternut squash. I’ll find out next year for sure.

Oven baked spaghetti squash

Is it a veg? Is it pasta? Freshly cooked spaghetti squash.

2 Comments

  • سالاد پاستا با سس چیلی
    8 روز پیش
    12 بازدید سالاد پاستا با سس چیلی
    سالاد ماکارونی را همه خانم ها بلدند درست کنند، حالا میخواهیم کمی مدرن تر عمل کنیم و با تغییراتی یک نوع سالاد پاستای اروپایی تر درست کنیم.
    البته تغییرات که چه عرض کنم، تقریبا تمامی مواد تشکیل دهنده را تغییر داده ایم. کوبیدیم و از اول ساخته ایم!!
    مواد لازم:
    لوبیا قرمز پخته شده 1 پیمانه کنسرو ذرت 4/1 پیمانه فلفل‌دلمه‌ای رنگی خردشده 4/1 پیمانه گوجه‌فرنگی گیلاسی 4/1 پیمانه پاستا شکل‌دار آبکش شده 3 پیمانه ریحان تازه خرد شده 4/1 پیمانه آب لیموترش تازه یک عدد پنیرخامه‌ای 2 قاشق سوپ‌خوری فلفل‌قرمز خرد شده (تند) یک قاشق چایخوری سس چیلی یک قاشق چایخوری ذرت کوچک به میزان لازم زیتون سیاه خردشده 4/1 پیمانه فیلد آناناس خردشده 4/1 پیمانه نمک مقداری مایونز 3 قاشق سوپخوری
    روش تهیه:
    1. لوبیا قرمز را پخته، کنار بگذارید تا کاملا خنک شود. سپس پاستاها را آبکش کنید، روی آنهاآب سرد بگیرید، بعد روغن مایع بریزید و کنار بگذارید تا کاملا خنک شود.
    2. فلفل دلمه‌ای‌ و گوجه‌های‌ گیلاسی را خرد و زیتون سیاه‌ها را نیز حلقه حلقه کنید.
    3. حالا کلیه مواد سالاد را با هم مخلوط کنید. پنیرخامه‌ای، مایونز، فلفل قرمز، آب لیموترش و سس چیلی را با هم بزنید تا یکدست شود. سپس به سالاد اضافه و کاملا مخلوط کنید. سالاد را به مدت یک ساعت در یخچال بگذارید تا کاملا مزه‌دار شود و در ظرف موردنظر سرو کنید.
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