No need to use your noodle with this recipe

I probably shouldn?t be trusted in grocery stores. Some?times I find myself wandering the aisles, buying random inexpensive ingredients just to give them a try.

For awhile now, one of those ingredients I?ve had my eye on is a spaghetti squash. I read that because the squash breaks down into these great noodle-like fibers, it?s a good alternative to using pasta, but I hadn?t gotten brave enough to try it until last week.

And it was amazing! If you?ve never made spaghetti squash, go to your local grocery store and get one. It?s worth it. Trust me.

The recipe I tried for my squash comes from the blog ?Food Doodles.? You can find the original at fooddoodles.com/2013/01/10/?skinny-spaghetti-squash-alfredo/.

As a side note, I did use freshly grated parmesan for my version (as the recipe calls for) rather than the sprinkle kind you get in a jar so that it would melt on the top of the squash nicely. I ended up buying parmesan rinds, removing the wax from the ends, and grating them with my vegetable peeler for my version, and it worked great and was much cheaper.

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Spaghetti Squash Alfredo

Ingredients

1 medium-sized spaghetti squash

1 tablespoon butter or margarine

3 to 4 cloves of minced garlic

2 1/2 tablespoons flour

1 tablespoon cream cheese

1 1/2 cup milk

1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus 2 tablespoons

salt and pepper to taste

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Cut the squash in half and scoop out the seeds. Place the squash cut-side down on a rimmed baking sheet lined with tin foil (this will save tons of scrubbing later). Pour enough water into the baking sheet to cover the bottom. Roast for about an hour or until the squash is fork tender.

In the last 20 minutes of the squash baking, heat the butter in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and saute until it begins to really become fragrant.

Add the flour and whisk until it soaks up all the butter. Let it cook for just a couple minutes (this cooks out the flour taste).

Add the cream cheese and stir it into the flour mixture as best you can.

Whisk in the milk and keep whisking until all lumps are broken up and dissolved. Let the mixture come to a simmer and then remove the pan from the heat and add the parmesan cheese, whisking until it melts. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Using a fork, break up the strands inside the squash so they?re loose and look like spaghetti noodles.

Split the sauce evenly between the two squash halves and stir well to incorporate the squash and the sauce.

Sprinkle the remaining parmesan cheese over the top and pop the squash back into the oven under the broiler for about 2 to 3 minutes or until the cheese starts to brown.

Serve immediately.

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We loved our spaghetti squash. It ended up being a nice, filling dinner, and we scraped the shells clean.

I?m not sure what my next grocery store experiment will be, but unlike some of my other adventures, we can mark this one down as a success.

When not helping husband Joey with newspaper work, Lindsey teaches speech, debate and forensics at Haven High School. She can be reached at lindseyclarion@gmail.com.

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