Roasted Spaghetti Squash with Walnut Oil & Parmigiano


This is, by any measure, the best alternative I’ve found for traditional pasta, when you’re trying to live and eat gluten free. As reassuring as a hug from a beloved Auntie it’s good to know that, like many things in life, if you look and try hard enough you will find not only a suitable answer or solution, but one that scores top marks.

The top 3 reasons why:

  1. Taste? Check.
  2. Texture? Check.
  3. Twirl-ability? Check.

OK, so make that 4 reasons…

     4. Gluten free? Check.

 

Even if you’re not in hot pursuit for the very best pasta-sans-gluten-alternative, this vegetable is intriguing enough to spark interest and conversation around the dinner table, as I recently found out when serving this to a very appreciative group.

Added to it’s list of attributes, quite nicely, is it’s appearance. How can something SO gorgeous not taste good…? Do I even need to get to the part where it’s good for you… it is a vegetable, after all!
Check that info out here.

With a medium sized squash serving two, or four as smaller portions, it’s a cinch to prep and bake.

While preheating your oven, you cut the squash horizontally, in half, as evenly as possible; if the halves are not exact don’t fret, they just need to be close so they cook evenly. Once they’re cut, you scoop out the seeds, season and bake. The fun part comes after the baking, and slight cooling so you don’t burn yourself  – and that’s when you take a fork and scrape out the strands, literally fluffing as you go. Season. Twirl. Buon appetito~

 

Roasted Spaghetti Squash with Walnut Oil & Parmigiano

Use a baking pan with sides high enough to be able to add a bit of water, hold the pieces snugly and to cover comfortably with foil. Once baked, cool them just enough so you can handle the halves – you could always hold them with a clean kitchen towel, protecting your hand, while you scrape & fluff. Makes 4 appetizer portions.

Ingredients:
1 medium sized spaghetti squash
2 – 3 TBSP  of extra virgin olive oil
Salt, to taste
Fresh ground black pepper, to taste
Walnut oil, approx. 2 tsp
Parmigiano grated, approx. 4 tsp

Preparation:
Preheat your oven to 350°

As evenly as possible and with a large knife, carefully cut the squash in half, horizontally. With a large spoon, scoop out the seeds and discard. Drizzle a little olive oil on each half, and rub around with your fingers. Season with a little salt & pepper and place cut side down, in your baking dish. Add a small amount of water, just to keep the bottom of the pan from catching. Cover with foil and bake approx. 30 minutes, until tender when pierced with a knife.

Remove from the oven and let cool for a few minutes, before scraping out the strands. Either in your hand, or with a clean kitchen towel, hold one piece, while scraping out the strands with a fork. When the squash are cleaned out, drizzle with a little more olive oil, salt & pepper. Taste.

Arrange prettily on plates and drizzle lightly with a few drops of the walnut oil (go easy as it can overpower) the Parmigiano and a sprinkle of salt & pepper.