What do all these squash have in common? They are all spaghetti squash, we think. This is a great year if you like spaghetti squash: we had a banner year! But, there is something about this year’s spaghetti squash though … they don’t necessarily look like the spaghetti squash you are used to. We do have some squash that fits the classic spaghetti squash mold, those light green-ish yellow more long ones, but then we have a bunch that look like a lot of other types of winter squash – pumpkins, jesters and carnivals, acorns. This is probably a saved seed, hybridization situation, but no matter. We lucked out, the squash all tastes good and acts mostly like a spaghetti squash.
**Side Note: Did you know that in order to prevent winter squash varieties from cross pollinating, they need to be planted 1/2 to 1 full mile apart? This doesn’t affect the current year’s crop, but if you want to save seeds, you are almost guaranteed a hybridized winter squash next year without that spacing. This is probably what happened to us.**
But spaghetti squash that looks like other squash does present a bit of a quandary: how does one know, exactly, what will happen once the squash is cooked? Well, you don’t and that is part of the joy of it. High adventure cooking! The good news is that cooking spaghetti squash and any other winter squash is about the same at the start. After the squash is cooked, what you are truly dealing with becomes apparent. We took the challenge here at Rainshadow Organics 4 times and so far have hit spaghetti squash each time.
Here is the best way to cook a squash when you are unsure if it is a spaghetti squash or not.
Roasted Halved Winter Squash
1 squash, halved lengthwise and seeded
olive oil or lard
salt and black pepper
- Heat the oven to 450F. Brush the cut side of each squash half with olive oil, then season with salt and pepper. Place squash, cut-sides down, on a parchment-lined baking sheet and roast until the squash is tender when poked with a fork, 35 to 40 minutes.
- Flip the squash and then, like a choose your own adventure book, either 1.) use a fork to scrape the squash into spaghetti strands OR 2.) realize it doesn’t have spaghetti like strands and pivot your meal.