One of my absolute favorite fall and winter dishes is this Ragu Meat Sauce. We serve it over roasted spaghetti squash, because it allows us to avoid pasta and because it tastes amazing.
So by now, I’ve cut open my fair share of those hard-as-bricks, yellow, oblong vegetables. At first, the task seemed nearly impossible.
Clearly, these oval-shaped members of the gourd family did not want to be broken into. Clearly. Cutting open a spaghetti squash involved mental preparation and a great deal of elbow grease. Grunting helped, too.
Well, I’m here to tell you that it can be done. What’s more, I’ve figured out a few tricks.
Many of you have no doubt come to these conclusions already, all on your own. Good for you! 🙂 For the rest of you, here is The Secret to Cutting Spaghetti Squash…
Choose the smallest squash you can find.
There it is, folks. This tip alone will save you much consternation, believe me. I now purchase multiple small spaghetti squashes, instead of one or two large ones. And cutting multiple small squashes most definitely takes less time than cutting one or two bigger ones. For sure, it requires less grunting.
Here’s my cutting (& roasting) process:
1. Preheat oven to 400.
2. Melt a bit of coconut oil in the oven as it heats up. I recommend using a Pyrex measuring cup with a handle. (And by the way, you will not need nearly as much oil as is shown in the picture below. I tend to overestimate the amount of oil needed.)
3. Insert a very large knife into the center of the squash, then press it all the way through until you feel it hit the cutting board.
4. Rock the knife (carefully!) until you can press down on the handle, thereby cutting the lower half of the squash.
5. Remove the knife (carefully!) and turn the squash 180 degrees.
6. Insert the knife in the center again, this time rocking it and pressing down to cut the remaining half.
7. Continue rocking the knife up and down, and from side to side just a bit, using it to pry the squash open.
8. If necessary, turn the squash upside down and repeat the process on the bottom half.
9. Once the squash is divided into two pieces, scoop out the insides. (Place them in the compost bucket, so your husband can feed them to the chickens instead of adding them to the compost pile. I’m not bitter, really.)
10. Place the squash halves on a baking sheet with sides and drizzle with melted coconut oil. I pour a small puddle of oil into the center of each half, and use a basting brush to spread the oil over the entire piece of squash.
11. Sprinkle with unrefined sea salt.
12. Roast in the oven for about 45 minutes, depending on the size of the squash and the performance of your oven.
13. Remove the squash and allow to cool a bit, then use a fork to scrape out the flesh.
(I’ve found that tongs work really well for transferring the scraped squash flesh to a dish. They’re much more efficient and make the job less messy than using a fork.)
14. Serve and enjoy! (We love it with this Ragu Meat Sauce.)
Do you have any tips for preparing spaghetti squash?
Kathleen Henderson is the yankee behind the homestead. Follow along as we grow real food and three boys while renovating a 20-acre farm in northern Virginia. Do you love homegrown food, Paleo-ish recipes, and natural living? You’re in good company! Let’s grow together…