RECIPE #399, DAY #571
ORIGINAL RECIPE: “Spaghetti Squash Primavera,” from Bert Greene’s Greene on Greens*
TIMING: 1 hour, about half of it simmer a whole squash
DIFFICULTY: It seems daunting, but it’s really not
TOOLS: Soup pot, sauce pans, tongs, large knife, a coupla forks…
COOK TYPE: Stovetop
HEALTH: Even the bit of cream, butter, and cheese is okay here with an enormous serving of vegetables. I suppose this isn’t the healthiest thing in the world, but I do not feel bad eating it. At all.
EXPERIENCE: I really did not know what to expect from this. I have had spaghetti squash before, but only once and a long time ago. I remembered that the processing of the squash is easier than expected, and yet I was still intimidated by it sitting on my counter top. Week after week. I looked for a recipe, found this in the spread sheet. I love Bert Greene. I bearded the lion in its den.
Do not be afraid. This is no big deal, especially the way he has you cook it.
No. It does not taste just like pasta. But it is addictive and pleasant, all on its own. And if you want something like pasta without the gluten or carbs or whatever, then here is your option. Again, it does not taste just like pasta, but it will satisfy you quite a bit. Otherwise, I would just suggest serving this as a veggie side which ultimately feels something like a grain.
NOTES: I knew I should have saved this recipe for the spring (hint: it’s called Spring Pasta), but I made it anyways in the dead of winter. No one minded, except me. This would be yummy around Easter time.
- Place a medium spaghetti squash in a soup pot and cover with cold water. If it floats, rig some sort of heavy strainer on top to keep it submerged. Bring to a boil, reduce to simmer, and simmer for 45 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a small sauce pan over medium heat, bring 1 cup cream to a simmer. Continue to simmer (keeping a weary eye on it) until reduced by half. Turn off heat and stir in 4 tablespoons butter. Set aside.
- In a medium sauce pan over medium-low heat, melt 1 tablespoon butter. Add 2 diced carrots, 1 diced 1/2-inch-thick slice of Virginia ham, and 1 minced shallot. Cook 3 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon limoncello and 1 teaspoon lemon zest and cook until liquid is almost completely evaporated. Add 1 cup green peas and cook just until hot.
- Add the reduced cream to the veggies with 1 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, a dash of hot sauce, and a pinch of nutmeg. Turn off heat and set aside.
- When squash is done (it should be a little tender), remove from the water with tongs to your cutting board. Secure with a giant fork and cut in half with a large knife. Remove seeds with a spoon. Then, using 2 forks, remove the flesh to a pasta bowl and shred into strings.
- Pour the sauce over the squash and toss with 3 tablespoons Parmesan. Sprinkle the top with extra Parmesan and serve warm.
Serve with herbaceous chicken breasts, marinated asparagus, and a Pimm’s Cup.
LEFTOVER IDEAS: This would bake well, topped with just a bit of Parmesan, or even gratineed.
*Recipe changed from the original.