Spaghetti Squash with Parmesan and Garlic: Foodie Karen McCleave Shares A Favourite Italian Recipe

With Summer well underway, are you looking for an easy veggie dish to complement outdoor grilling or score “best cottage guest” award?

If so, Karen McCleave, amateur cook and professional eater, has a suggestion. Today, we’re sharing one of her favourite recipes, inspired after diving into Italian cuisine on a wine tour of central and northern Italy.

Not familiar with spaghetti squash? It is easily prepared. Its unique texture and taste will convert you. Oven roasting softens the flesh into strands resembling spaghetti; hence, the name. It naturally marries with parmesan cheese and garlic, and pairs easily with a range of wines, from sauvignon blanc to pinot noir.

Here is what you will need:

  • 1 spaghetti squash, about 3 pounds
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 to 4 large garlic cloves, green shoots removed, minced
  • 2 tablespoons breadcrumbs (Karen uses Panko)
  • Chopped parsley and/or other fresh herbs like basil
  •  Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  •  Freshly grated Parmesan—as much as you want

Here is how to make it:

  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  • Pierce the squash in several places with a sharp knife. Place the squash on a foil-lined baking sheet. (Alternatively, you can cut it in half, lengthwise and bake them side by side.)
  • Bake for about 45 minutes, or until the squash is soft. 
  • If you baked it whole, cut it in half lengthwise and remove the seeds.
  • Scoop out the flesh with a fork, creating the “spaghetti strands”. Place them into a bowl. (You should have about 4 cups)
  • Heat oil in a large, non-stick skillet over medium heat, adding the garlic and bread crumbs. Stir for a couple of minutes, until the garlic softens and bread crumbs become  crispy.
  • Add the squash and fresh herbs. Season with salt and pepper. Toss until blended.
  • Place spaghetti in a warm serving dish and generously top with freshly grated Parmesan. Add a garnish of parsley or basil, and serve.

Variations: You can also toss the spaghetti squash with 1 cup of tomato or marinara sauce. Grilled chicken is delicious with it.

Image from Creative Commons

Ciao bellos e bellas!

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