Saturday, May 16, 2009

Spaghetti Squash - freak or fantasy?

My mind is still not made up.
If you’ve never heard of a Spaghetti Squash before, don’t be fooled by its name. While some people will tell you it can be substituted for the true pasta, I found it too tender to hold up to the sauces.
But the flavors are much more robust than some people say. I thought that it was a nice light butternut squash-like flavor with a smoother consistency.

After halving the squash (a sharp knife and a little patience is needed) I scooped out the pumpkin-esc seeds, coated it in extra virgin olive oil, salt, pepper, and an oregano/thyme mixture. Baking it in the oven for about 45 minutes at 350 yielded a fun stringy squash that I was excited to try out. Like I said, it just didn’t stand up. The flavor was there, but the texture was lacking. It looked like thin Angel Hair pasta which had gotten cut up into small bits.

Now here we are with a 1/2 cooked squash and no ideas….. hum…. I decided to try frying it with Polenta I had picked up that week.

Another mishap, but this time with the Polenta. Again, the flavors were amazing (the sweetness from the fried corn was incredible) but they just kinda fell apart during the frying. I’ve read that letting the Polenta rest in the fridge for awhile will cause it to harden up and then you can cut it and fry it. I think that will be my next effort.

For interested readers, the mixture I used for the Fritters was: cooked Polenta, mashed Spaghetti Squash, a splash of milk, salt, pepper, oregano. I would recommend cooking the Polenta with less water and longer than recommended, mixing with the remaining ingredients, cooling in a small bread pan or some other shape, and then cutting and frying.

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