Ingredient Spotlight: Spaghetti Squash

Spaghetti squash is a cylinder-shaped squash that ranges in color from pale yellow to canary yellow. Do you know why it's called spaghetti squash?

When you cook the squash, the flesh develops threads that resemble spaghetti, and it's long enough that you can twirl them around your fork. Spaghetti squash is a filling, healthy main dish that's simple to prepare. A single 4-oz serving is only 37 calories.

Select squashes that have firm outer shells - no soft spots - and are heavy for their size. There is no taste difference between the colors, but the more orange-colored ones have more beta carotene in them. It's more common to see pale yellow/creamy white ones, though.

Slice in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds like you would with any winter squash. You can quarter these halves if you like. Add them to the bottom of a large casserole dish (we like using a Romertopf clay baker), sprinkle with salt and pepper, a little olive oil, and bake at 375°F oven approximately 1 hour or until flesh is tender.

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Serve topped with a little marinara sauce.

Recipe: Spaghetti Squash with Chunky Tomato Sauce
Virtual CSA Box: Buttercup Squash
Recipe: Basic Tomato Sauce

(Images: Kathryn Hill)