Sunday, October 24, 2010

It's spaghetti with meat sauce
-- wait, no, it's squash!

Come fall, supermarkets start to fill up with piles of squash.
   Butternut, spaghetti and acorn squashes and pumpkins await use in soups, casseroles and desserts.
   I’ve been a fan of spaghetti squash ever since I witnessed the funky origin of its name: After cooking, the flesh can be scraped out with a fork into long strands that indeed look like pasta.
   Beef Ragu over Spaghetti Squash (click for the recipe) from Fine Cooking magazine is a delicious example of how to use spaghetti squash to its fullest stringy potential.
   If you’re really sneaky, you may try serving it to a family and tell them it’s spaghetti, the pasta. Some may pick up on your deception, but those that dig in will be rewarded for believing you.
   I have never tried the garlic bread portion of the recipe above.
   It’s quite easy to make.
   The first step is to halve a spaghetti squash lengthwise. My husband takes on this task, whacking the squash with a butcher’s knife to create a deep fault line, then splitting it in half.
   The squash halves are put in a pot with a little water and boiled, then simmered.
   While the squash cooks, a ragu or meat sauce is created with ground beef, onion, crushed tomatoes and fresh basil.
   Once the halves are cool enough to handle, the magic happens: The squash will release into the spaghetti-like strands when shredded with a fork.
   Put the strands on plates, ladle the ragu over and sprinkle with grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.

Another great recipe using ground beef: Cincinnati Chili

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