Not What You Think
November 6, 2008
I’ve been feeling under the weather all week, with a cold or flu or something that I just can’t seem to shake. And it’s had me craving comfort foods: brothy soups, bowls of oatmeal, pretty much anything that can be eaten while huddled under a blanket, curled up in the corner of the couch.
Do you see those strands up there? The ones twirled around the tines of the fork? Well, they’re cloaked in a simple olive oil sauce, spiked with a heavy dose of both garlic and crushed red chiles. And they satisfied my comfort food criteria beautifully. But, they’re not what you think they are …
(Click “more” to find out what it is, see the photos & read the recipe.)
At first glance, you might assume that today’s recipe involves angel hair or linguine or vermicelli or spaghettini. But, no! It’s squash! Spaghetti squash, to be exact and it’s one of the coolest things I’ve made in a while. Seriously, I challenge you to roast a spaghetti squash, scrape a fork across its flesh, watch the tendrils that look just like spaghetti emerge and not utter an awestruck “coooooool.” In light of my cold, it’s all photos from here on out today. Enjoy:
Spicy, Garlicky Spaghetti Squash
Serves 2 (as a main dish) or 4 (as a side dish)
1 medium sized spaghetti squash, halved lengthwise, seeds discarded
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
fine sea salt and freshly-cracked black pepper
3 shallots, thinly sliced
3 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon crushed red chile flakes
1/4 cup grated parmigiano-reggiano
2 tablespoons minced flat-leaf parsley
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil.
Brush the cut sides of of the squash with one tablespoon of the oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper and place on the prepared baking sheet, cut sides up. Roast for 50 minutes, or until the flesh has begun to brown and has softened. Let cool slightly.
Meanwhile, heat the remaining olive oil in a deep skillet over medium heat. Add the shallots, garlic and red pepper flakes. Cook until the shallots have softened, several minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
Using a fork, scrape the flesh of the squash and transfer the strands to the skillet. Toss the spaghetti squash to coat it with the garlicky sauce. Top with grated cheese and parsley.