If I could eat pasta every day without expanding into a large starch-filled balloon, I would. The amount of love I have for pasta is the exact reason why I’m always looking for healthy alternatives, like bean pasta or zucchini pasta. So when I first heard of “spaghetti squash” my brain basically turned itself into a pretzel trying to make sense of this holy union. A spaghetti-like vegetable? Could life be this kind?
Luckily for me, I get my share of organic, local veggies delivered to my door every week from Mama Earth. So a few weeks ago when I discovered I’d be getting a spaghetti squash in my delivery, I was both excited and a little afraid to dive into this strange world where carby goodness and nutritious veggies collide.
The truth is, if my mission is to explore my city, try new things, and see with new eyes, then I must carry that exploratory sense into my day-to-day life – and that includes in my very own kitchen.
Let me preface this by saying that no foray into the kitchen is ever complete without one of three things happening. 1) Something breaks. 2) Something spills. 3) Blood. Which one would happen this time? Only time will tell!
Aside from the squash and some olive oil, all I need is these ingredients:
I was supposed to use fresh grated parmesan, but I’m lazy sooo store-bought it is. BUT I did opt for fresh basil. The recipe calls for four leaves but I said fuck you Melinda, I’m using SIX. Fucking love basil. Just smelling it makes me happy, to the point of swearing aggressively.
Okay. Time to cut this thing in half.
Medieval-looking cutting glove designed for the paranoid and clumsy? Don’t mind if I do!
So uh… the knife is stuck. Yup. Things are going swimmingly.
Once I managed to get the knife all the way through without slicing off any appendages, I scoop out the insides.
Note: you can totally save the seeds for later and toast them! I did not do this. What? I told you I’m lazy.
The recipe asks to fill the cooking sheet with ¼ inch of water. So I placed the squash halves on the cooking sheet, filled it with water, and started to carry it towards the oven. 3 guesses how that went!
Yup! You got it. Water all over the floor and inside the oven. As I moved towards the oven at approximately 0.001 km per hour and water poured everywhere, I started to laugh. And then shake from laughter. And then it got worse. Should I have used a measuring cup to pour water onto the cooking sheet once it was safely sitting inside the oven, you ask? Maybe. Hindsight is 20/20 okay?
After the squash was baked, I was disappointed because it looked exactly the same as when it went in. But when I took a fork to it…
What the WHAT?? Madness.
It just like…. Turns into noodles. So cool.
Then I added the mixture of lemon, basil, garlic, and olive oil, cut up the avocado and topped it with parmesan cheese. The end result:
(Because of the avocado, this is definitely a same-day dish. Otherwise it’ll go brown and icky.)
So yes, it is true, friends. Pasta-like vegetables do exist. Life CAN be this kind — if we’re willing to experiment a little. Rejoice!