Well, the year has gone by and my healthy eating plan has once again been a dismal failure but I did recently try a recipe that passed both the healthy and good test. For someone who absolutely loves pasta, especially with a rich cheese and cream sauce, it’s a hard sell to get me to go for anything less but I thought spaghetti squash might work. In the interest of a fair review though, there is no comparison between squash and a good pasta no matter how similar they might look and in no way is this an adequate substitute for fettucine Alfredo but. . . it was pretty good and got into the once a month category (our family’s informal rating system – once a week, once a month and please, please never again).
1 small to medium spaghetti squash
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion chopped
5 cloves of garlic (I like lots of garlic you could reduce this if you prefer)
salt and pepper
1 cup low-fat milk
4 tablespoons Italian seasoning
4 ounces Gruyère or Asiago shredded
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
First you need to roast the squash and there are two ways to go. The best, if you are a brave and have a really good knife, is to slice the squash in half lengthwise, remove the seeds and drizzle with some olive oil and sprinkle with the Italian spices, salt and pepper and roast it cut side down on a foil wrapped cookie sheet at 375 degrees for 20 minutes (it should be starting to soften, but not anywhere near mushy – it will be baked more later so don’t overcook). Be warned though that they are very hard to cut! As you can see, my technique could use a little practice but no matter, you’re going to cut it up later anyway. If you’re not so brave, you can just poke a few holes in it, bake and it will cut much easier but it won’t have as much flavor. After you remove from the oven, set it aside for a few minutes to cool. Using a fork, shred the squash, then chop it into pieces about 1 inch long.
In a dutch oven if you have one you can do this in one step, otherwise use a medium saucepan and a casserole dish. Add the olive oil to the bottom of the pan and brown the onions well 8-10 minutes the browner the better, add the garlic and cook for about 1 minute longer. Add the squash (and if you didn’t slice the squash before roasting, add the Italian spices salt and pepper) and mix well, cooking for about 5 minutes longer.
In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, then add the milk and Gruyère. Gradually add a small amount of the hot squash to temper the eggs, then pour this mixture over the squash and stir gently but quickly to mix well as you don’t want to scramble the eggs.
Top with the shredded Parmesan and bake (still at 375) for about 45 minutes until the top is lightly browned and bubbling.
It can be served warm or cold.