Wednesday, October 14, 2015

The New Spaghetti and Sugar Pumpkin

Spaghetti squash is undoubtedly one of the most unique foods you'll come across. This melon-shaped winter squash is named for its flesh, which separates into spaghetti-like strands after it's cooked. Spaghetti squash makes an excellent side dish or a fun substitute in thin noodle recipes, from Asian to Italian. It is loaded with nutrients, such as beta carotene and fiber, and is tender, with just a slight crunch. Spaghetti squash can be baked, boiled, steamed, and/or microwaved. It can be served with or without sauce, as a substitute for pasta. The seeds can be roasted, similar to pumpkin seeds.
Spaghetti Squash Shrimp Scampi
How to Prepare Spaghetti Squash
  • Cut in half lengthwise with a butcher’s knife. Scoop out the guts with a spoon. Brush with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
  • Place the squash rind-side-up on a parchment lined pan and bake at 375 degrees for 35-40 minutes.
  • When it’s done, scrape a fork down the inside to remove the squash in spaghetti strands.

Spaghetti Squash Shrimp Scampi
Ingredients for 1 serving recipe adapted from
  • ½ of cooked spaghetti squash
  • 4 jumbo shrimp
  • Handful of cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp. parsley flakes
  • Handful of fresh basil leaves
  • ¼ cup white wine
  • Juice from 1 lemon
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Heat 1 tbsp olive oil and garlic on a skillet until garlic is soft and starts to brown.
  • Add wine and lemon and let simmer for a minute.
  • Add shrimp, parsley flakes and basil, simmer about 3 minutes, until shrimp starts to turn pink.
  • Add the tomatoes and simmer until they’re warm and soft.
  • Add to your spaghetti squash and garnish with a lemon wedge.

Sweet or Sugar Pumpkin
If your Halloween pumpkin is small and squat, chances its a sugar pumpkin. But more than just decorative, sugar pumpkins are prized for their classic pumpkin flavor, as well as for their thick and flesh-packed walls. If you'd like to opt out of canned pumpkin for your baking and make your own purée instead, reach for a sugar pumpkin.
Homemade Pumpkin Puree
recipe from
Clean pumpkin out by scraping out flesh and seeds. Set seeds aside for roasting at a later date. Cut pumpkin into large chunks and place right side up on a baking sheet.  
Roast at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until fork tender. Remove skins from each chunk.
Add a few chunks at a time to food processor. Add a few tablespoons of water to pumpkin puree if too dry. 
Roasted Pumpkin Soup
Cook's notes: Roasted pumpkin puree can made day before, placed in a zip loc bag and refrigerated.  A can 15-16. oz. of solid pumpkin can be substituted for roasted pumpkin puree but some taste might be compromised. This soup is comfort food at its best with a smooth velvety texture.  
  • 1 (2 pound) pumpkin, halved and seeds removed about 2-1/2 cups pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 TB. olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. ground allspice
  • 1/4 tsp. curry
  • dash nutmeg
  • 3/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped carrot
  • 1/4 cup chopped celery
  • 1 TB. minced ginger
  • 1 TB. minced garlic
  • 2 TB. maple syrup
  • 3-1/2 cups chicken stock
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • Set a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and, when hot, add the cinnamon, allspice, curry and nutmeg. Cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Add the onions, carrots, celery, ginger and garlic to the pan and saute, stirring occasionally, until lightly caramelized, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the maple syrup, chicken stock and reserved pumpkin puree to the pan. Bring the stock to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook the soup for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the vegetables are soft.
  • Remove the soup from the heat and process with an immersion blender (*or in batches in a blender) until smooth. Add back to pot and season with 1/2 teaspoon salt and pinch of pepper. Add the cream to the soup and stir to combine. Cook 2 minutes more. 
Optional roasting the pumpkin seeds and sprinkling over soup. 
Check out this helpful visual link to 12 squash varieties

1 comment:

  1. I wonder if I can fool the husband with spaghetti squash. I've had it and it is a great substitute for pasta. I'm really enjoying this series.