Moroccan-Spiced Spaghetti Squash

Even if summer, in all its tomato-and-sweet-corn-and-peach glory, came and went too fast for us, we couldn’t help but get a little excited at the new offerings of wintery squashes coming our way this week, and Spaghetti Squash might be our favorite of the bunch. The mellow, yellow squash is firm when raw (similar to other raw squash) but when cooked, the flesh, delicately forked, falls away from the fruit in ribbons or strands like, well, spaghetti. This particular recipe is warming and hearty while also being fresh and light. The perfect transition.


Moroccan-Spiced Spaghetti Squash Adapted from Gourmet

Cooking spaghetti squash in your microwave is super-quick, but roasting it isn’t much more work if you find yourself microwave-less. This works great as a side, and it would also be great with some sautéed greens.

  • 1 (3 1/2- to 4-pound) spaghetti squash
  • 1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro or flat-leaf parsley, if you’re cilantro-averse

To cook the squash in a microwave: Pierce squash (about an inch deep) all over with a small sharp knife to prevent bursting. Cook in an 800-watt microwave oven on high power (100 percent) for 6 to 7 minutes. Turn squash over and microwave until squash feels slightly soft when pressed, 8 to 10 minutes more. Cool squash for 5 minutes.

To roast the squash, two methods: If you’d like to roast the squash whole, pierce it all over with a small sharp knife to prevent bursting and bake it in a 375°F oven for one hour. If you are good with a big, sharp kinfe, you can save some time by cutting the squash in half lengthwise, scooping out the seeds and roasting the halves face-down in an oiled baking pan for about 40 minutes in a 375°F oven.

Meanwhile, melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until it is barely golden. Stir in spices and salt and remove from heat.

If you have microwaved or roasted your squash whole, carefully halve it lengthwise (it will give off a lot of steam) and remove the seeds.

Carefully halve squash lengthwise (it will give off steam) and remove and discard seeds. Working over a bowl, scrape squash flesh with a fork, loosening and separating strands as you remove it from skin. Toss with the spiced butter and cilantro.

Serves 4

Recipe and images from Smitten Kitchen.