I love spaghetti squash! It is one of my favorite things to eat. That being said, it is also a little dangerous to make! A few years ago when Dan and I lived in Hoboken, we invited our friends Ashley and Randy over for dinner. I decided I was going to make spaghetti squash shrimp scampi (try saying that one 5 times fast). I started cooking and was excited to have guests over, however when I was about to start baking the squash I ran into a little problem. For those of you that have not cooked spaghetti squash before, they are extremely hard and difficult to cut in half (even with the best quality knife)! Many recipes tell you to cut the squash in half first and then bake it, to save time. As I was cutting the squash in half my knife got stuck in the squash and unfortunately when pulling it out I almost took my finger off. It was one of the scariest moments of my life, as I was home alone and needed stitches…it was one of my goriest injuries (but I won’t go into too much detail). Anyways, I tried to get a taxi to the hospital, and there weren’t any (this was before Uber). I couldn’t find a taxi so I literally sprinted up and down my street with my hand over my head until I finally found these really nice cops that brought me over to the Hoboken Hospital. They stayed with me to make sure I was okay, and were so thoughtful and kind. I wish I got their names to thank them again. I had to cancel dinner, which I was sad to do, and Dan came rushing over from work to hang out with me at the ER. They said I was very lucky that I did not have any nerve damage, and patched me up and sent me on my way. I still am scared to use the knife that cut me, however I somehow still love spaghetti squash.
Thankfully, I did some research and found that you can cook spaghetti squash whole, although it does take a little longer! This is now the only way I cook spaghetti squash. It usually takes about an hour to 1 hour and 20 minutes, so it takes some planning ahead and getting home from work at a reasonable hour! To bake the spaghetti squash whole you will first need to preheat the oven to 375. Then wash the spaghetti squash, dry it, pierce it with some holes all around, then put it in a pyrex dish. Halfway through the cooking time, I usually flip the spaghetti squash.
The recipe I used for the scampi (once my finger healed) can be found here: http://www.louisianacookin.com/spaghetti-squash-shrimp-scampi/ (I will also list it below on this post…)
You will need:
- Two spaghetti squashes 3-3 1/2 pound
- 8 tablespoons butter, divided
- 1½ pounds peeled and deveined large fresh shrimp
- 2 large shallots, minced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup dry white wine
- ½ cup chicken broth
- ½ cup heavy whipping cream
- 2 tablespoons capers
- 1 teaspoon Creole seasoning
- ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
- ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
- Once an hour has gone by, I usually start to check the spaghetti squash. It becomes fork tender when it is cooked through. You can then take it out and let it rest for about 10 minutes, then cut the squash in half. I like to use kitchen scissors to cut the seeds out. For some reason, this is always the most annoying step to me. The seeds can be a little difficult to get out, but between the scissors and a fork, I am able to get them all out. Then you just use your fork in a raking motion to scoop out all the strands of spaghetti squash. I usually then set it aside in a bowl and throw the skin out (Although I have recently seen some recipes where you serve the meal in the skin once it it prepared…totally up to you!)
- In a large skillet, melt 1 tablespoon butter over medium-high heat. Add shrimp and cook, turning occasionally, until pink and firm, about 5 minutes. Remove shrimp and set aside.
- Melt 1 tablespoon butter in skillet over medium-high heat. Add shallots and garlic; cook, stirring occasionally, 6 minutes. Add wine and broth, increase heat to high, and reduce liquid by two-thirds. Reduce heat to medium-low. Stir in remaining 6 tablespoons butter, cream, capers, Creole seasoning, and red pepper. Cook until butter has melted and sauce is smooth, about 3 minutes. Stir in squash, shrimp, and parsley. Serve immediately.
This is obviously a butter heavy recipe, so you can play around with it to try to make it healthier. I usually do not use a full 8 tablespoons of butter- I would say I use around 4 and use more broth and a little olive oil. I really just love the capers and the flavor they add to recipes.
I love making spaghetti squash because I feel like you can make so many different recipes with it. I wouldn’t say it is exactly like eating real pasta, but it is a nice alternative if you are trying to cut back on some carbs!
Thanks for reading and have a fun day 🙂
Here is my picture of the day (borrowed from the original recipe site)…