Sunday, November 09, 2008

Spaghetti Squash Gratin

My new favorite vegetable to play with is Spaghetti Squash. Slice it open, cook it, shred it with a fork and poof! -- strands of squash that look like spaghetti.

It's dead simple to prepare: just slice it in half length-wise, scoop out the seeds, loosely cover each open half with plastic wrap and microwave until the sides are softened, about 10 minutes. Then carefully scrape the hot squash with the tines of a fork and you're ready to go.

Since this is a winter squash, and winter weather calls for rich and creamy comfort foods, I like using Spaghetti Squash in a gratin. This recipe has a bit of Italian flair; the creme fraiche or sour cream just provides creaminess, and the Parmesan, asiago, parsley, sage and garlic flavors take center-stage. (You can easily leave out the sage if you like, too.) The result is a flavorful, deeply satisfying dish that can be eaten either as an entree or a side.

Spaghetti Squash Gratin

1 spaghetti squash (2-3 lbs), halved lengthwise (stem to blossom end) and seeded
2 - 3 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp chopped fresh thyme (optional)
2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp coarsely ground pepper
8 oz Creme Fraiche or Sour Cream
1 cup grated Asiago or Parmesan cheese, or a mixture of both

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Place squash, skin side up (one half at a time), on microwave-safe dish; cover with microwave-safe plastic wrap. Microwave on high for 10-12 min, until tender.

Carefully run the tines of a fork lengthwise over cut surface of squash to loosen spaghetti-like strands; scoop out strands. Drain excess liquid, if necessary, and set aside.

Combine garlic, thyme, parsley, salt, pepper, creme fraiche/sour cream, and 2/3 cup cheese in small bowl. Fold into squash; place in shallow ovenproof 2 qt. casserole dish or glass pie plate. Top with remaining cheese.

Bake 20 min or until lightly browned. (For a little extra browning, finish under the broiler.)


Anonymous said...

This sounds soooo good! My stomach growled when I read this... honest!

Julie said...

That sounds really good. Even my super picky dtr likes spaghetti squash, I'll have to try this on her.

Laura Rebecca said...

Haley & Julie -- give it a try! It's simple, rather inexpensive (although cheese can get pricey) and delicious!

Unknown said...

spaghetti squash - hmmmm - where ever did you get such an unusual idea

the recipe looks a lot better than our lemon one

breadchick said...

Hey! I have one of those that got pushed to the back of my fridge a few weeks ago. Wonder if it is any good anymore and if it is, I think I have all these ingredients in the pantry/fridge!

Broshar said...

Lovely, Laura. Just lovely.

Linda said...

Hi Laura I am a new follower of your blog. I love the spaghetti squash recipe. I can hardly wait to try it out on my gluten intolerant family members this weekend! I am sure they will love it...

Jackie said...


Did you add sage to the recipe.

Kat Tancock said...

Looks delicious, I'm going to try this tonight - I baked a spaghetti squash last night to have it ready so this should be easy to prepare!

One note of caution, though - the jury might still be out on microwaves in general, but all experts recommend not microwaving with plastic touching your food because chemicals can leach. So I would never microwave with plastic wrap on the squash. Could you use parchment paper instead? Or I just baked in a 350 oven for about an hour.