Spaghetti Squash For Busy People

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It’s been a busy few months, but I’ve probably mentioned that a few times, haven’t I? Things are gradually slowing down. I can deal with lack of days off, being too tired, and not having time for spontaneity but I am realizing that being so busy is starting to take its toll.

I’m not here to complain, just to point out that when I have so little free time I feel like I am always trying to get somewhere that I just out of reach. I am the type of person who likes to do everything on my list before I can relax. I also happen to have several projects on top of my regular work schedule. All of this is making me too impatient. When I am waiting in line, I find myself unnecessarily frustrated at the slow person in front of me. Traffic is never fun, but lately I’ve been annoyed at all the red lights and impossible left turns that seem to keep me from every getting where I want to go. Now that I’ve noticed my impatience, I am trying to remember that waiting can be time for a little day dreaming, a moment of restfulness in the midst of another too full day.

When I’m in the kitchen, I don’t feel the need to hurry. I may be hungry but cooking dinner never has to be rushed. Just having a few evenings a week at home to cook and then sit down at the table with Ray is a luxury these days. There have been nights when I’ve been too tired to think about cooking but usually planning and making dinner is an enjoyable priority. I listen to Marketplace, do the dishes, read my favorite blogs or write for this one while ingredients simmer or bake.

I am still having fun using the different vegetables I get from the farm. Last night I cooked spaghetti squash for the first time. I think it’s strange that there is a squash whose flesh so resembles noodles. It makes me wonder which came first, spaghetti or spaghetti squash? Either way, I’m glad I tried it. The tangly strands of squash work well as a main dish with accompaniments and it isn’t hard to find flavors that complement its not-too-sweet squashy flavor.

Easy Spaghetti Squash
Cooking the squash takes some time, but just throw it in the oven, set a timer, and do whatever else you need to do.

1 medium to large spaghetti squash
olive oil
one small onion, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon butter (optional, but it adds a nice flavor)
6-8 leaves of fresh sage, finely chopped
1/4 cup gruyere or parmesan cheese, grated
salt and pepperĀ 

Cut the spaghetti squash in half, scoop out the seeds and place each half cut side down on a baking sheet. Bake at 350 for 30-60 minutes or until the squash can be easily poked with a fork. Or, cook it whole on a baking sheet — you’ll have to scoop out the seeds after it is cooked, but it only takes a second to get it in the oven. When it is done baking, let the squash cool until you can touch without burning yourself. Using a fork, scrap out the squash into spaghetti like strands.

In an oven-proof skillet heat a tablespoon or so of olive oil. Add the onion and cook over medium heat until to begins to caramelize slightly. Add the garlic and butter if you are using it and continue cooking for another minute or two. Place the squash in the pan with the garlic and onions, sprinkle in the sage and stir everything so all of the ingredients are evenly combined. Stir in the cheese and continue cooking for 3-4 more minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Place the skillet in the still hot oven and cook for 20 minutes more. Let cool for a few minutes before serving.

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