I once posted this Facebook update: “Jill is about to explore the mysteries of spaghetti squash.”
One of my friends replied that her third-grade daughter is absolutely fascinated by the stringy strands. The only problem is kids — and many cooks — aren’t quite sure if the smiley-face yellow squash really tastes like spaghetti.
No, but it does have a similar texture when fluffed from the shell with the tines of a fork. Besides being fun to eat, winter squash varieties are a good source of iron, riboflavin and vitamins A and C.
Another plus: As squash goes it’s one of the easier ones to work with because you don’t have to remove a tough skin or whack the unyielding flesh into chunks.
Yet recipes for spaghetti squash are few and far between. The epicurious.com recipe database offers 230 for butternut squash, 32 for acorn squash and just eight for spaghetti squash.
The Star’s Spaghetti Squash With Vegetables and Bacon is a tasty way to enjoy more vegetables, including broccoli, red pepper and tomatoes. Crumbles of lower-fat, lower-calorie turkey bacon add a nice, salty crunch.
Shopping tip: Although it is technically considered a winter squash, spaghetti squash is available year-round. Choose a squash that is heavy for its size with a rind that is free of blemishes or mold.
Storage: Store winter squash in a cool, dry place for up to a month.