Saturday, November 20, 2010

Grecian Spaghetti Squash

Spaghetti squash with a Feta Cheese cream sauce?  Sounds Greek to me!

     Spaghetti squash can be used in place of pasta to create new recipes.  Basic Greek flavors that most people are familiar with are used to make this entree.  Feta cheese is a heavily brined goat cheese that is popular worldwide.  It is necessary to cut back the amount of salt in a sauce, when using feta cheese.
     Spaghetti Squash:
     The strands of spaghetti squash should be slightly crisp and not mushy after baking!
     Select a spaghetti squash that is smaller than an American football.  (Ha!  Its hard to compare a spaghetti squash shape.  A 3 to 5 pound spaghetti squash is considered to be small.)
     Bake the whole spaghetti squash in a 350 degree oven for 30 to 40 minutes.
     Allow the squash cool to room temperature.
     Cut the spaghetti squash in half across the middle.  (Do not cut in half lengthwise or the squash strands will pull out in short lengths instead of long spaghetti strands.)
     Use a spoon to scrape the seeds and inner pulp out of the squash without disturbing the thick "Spaghetti strand" layer.
     Use a fork to loosen and pull long strands of spaghetti squash out of the shell.
     Place a pasta size portion of the squash's spaghetti strands into a mixing bowl.  (2 large handfuls is plenty.)
     Grecian Spaghetti Squash:
     Heat a saute pan over medium/medium low heat heat.
     Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
     Add 2 cloves of chopped garlic.
     Saute till the garlic turns a golden color.
     Add 1/4 cup each of these diced vegetables:
     - green bell pepper
     - red bell pepper
     - onion
     Saute till the vegetables start to become tender.
     Add 1 small diced seeded plum tomato.
     Add about 6 to 8 black olives that are cut in half.
     Add 4 to 5 pitted kalamata olives.
     Add 1 teaspoon of lemon juice.
     Add 1 pinch of fennel seed.
     Add 1 pinch of ground star anise
     Add 2 pinches of dill weed.
     Add 2 pinches of oregano.
     Add 2 pinches of chopped curly parsley.
     Add black pepper.
     Add about 3/4 cup of cream.
     When the cream start boil, reduce the temperature to low heat.
     Simmer and reduce, till the sauce becomes a very thin consistency.
     Add 1/4 cup of crumbled feta cheese.
     Stir till the cheese melts into the sauce.
     Taste the sauce to see if it needs salt and add some if necessary.
     Add the reserved pasta size portion of spaghetti squash.
     Toss the ingredients together as the spaghetti squash is heated in the sauce.
     Mound the Greek style spaghetti squash on a plate.
     Sprinkle a little bit of crumbled feta cheese on top of the spaghetti squash.
     Garnish with curly parsley sprigs.
     By only baking the spaghetti squash for 30 minutes, the squash will be perfectly al dente and crisp.  The spaghetti squash strands will remain thin, when using a short baking time.  After heating the squash in the cream sauce, the squash will have a texture like al dente spaghetti.
     This Greek style spaghetti squash creation turned out to be quite tasty!  Yum!  ...  Shawna

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