Spaghetti Vegetable sometimes called Spaghetti squash does not, originate as one might expect, in the Americas but in China first document in about 1850. It became popular in the second world war when dried pasta was I short supply, however, I find it bears little resemblance to spaghetti in texture or taste.
It is, however, a fascinating vegetable and after a long fall from grace is being introduced into many cuisines again. Big in texture, with its visible wool-like strands it is light on flavour and lends itself to be used in many ways. The spaghetti vegetable is well known in the Italian kitchen but with imagination it can be applied to almost any cuisine. It may be low cal and can be a great Carbs replacement, but without your best evo or my preference lashings of herb and garlic butter it doesn’t rock my boat. We’ve never done it but the seeds can be roasted and eaten like pumpkin seeds. We have also never cooked on whole because we like to remove the seeds before cooking but there are plenty of references on the net for this method of cooking. Don’t’ forget the holes or it will explode like an eggplant and make one hell of a mess of your oven.
AO 3 MAY 21
Timings are not absolute there are too many variables…so YOU ARE WARNED, whatever method you choose to use you’ll need to check regularly and ALWAYS remember it will keep cooking after you remove it from the oven or microwave. This starts with acknowledging your spaghetti vegetable may have come straight from the fridge or has been wallowing in full sun in your garden or in your fruit and veg suppliers cold storage for many weeks….they keep well.
So here goes………..the recipes below are based on the spaghetti vegetable being at room temperature [at least overnight out of the fridge.]
Cut the spaghetti vegetable in half. Using the spoon scoop out the seeds and cover each half tightly with plastic wrap. Place the two halves cut side down on the microwave rondel and microwave on high for 15 minutes. With the tip of a sharp knife make a pin prick then take care when open the plastic as you can get a nasty steam burn.
Unravel as much of the spaghetti vegetable as possible, recover and return it to the microwave for a further 1 or 2 minutes [or longer as required] to loosen the remaining strands.
Oven Method Half Spaghetti Vegetable
Pre heat oven to 180°C
Cut the spaghetti vegetable in half. Using the spoon scoop out the seeds. Select a baking dish with a minimum of 3 cm edge. Cover with baking paper or a silicon mat. Put the dish in the oven, then pour hot water [from your tap] into the dish to about 15 mm. Place the spaghetti vegetable cut side down on the mat and close the oven door. Set a time for 30 minutes.
When the timer goes, scrape out as much softened veg as possible. Return to the oven and check every 10 minutes scarping out more each time until you have completely cleaned out the flesh.
my family unsophisticated fave!
Pre heat oven to 180°C
Cut the spaghetti vegetable in half. Using the spoon scoop out the seeds the cut each half into 4-6 pieces depending on the size of the spaghetti vegetable.
Cover a lipped with baking sheet with paper or a silicon mat. Put the pieces of spaghetti veg skin side down on the sheet and then put about 20g of your favourite herb garlic butter on each piece and season well with Maldon and freshly ground black pepper. Put the dish in the oven, then pour hot water [from your tap] into the dish not more than 10 mm.
We cook these pieces through and serve them skin on, casual style with lashings of chopped herbs and more butter for those that like it.