Spaghetti squash are large and oval weighing on average between four and eight pounds and have an appearance similar to that of a melon. Its exterior rind and skin is firm, smooth, and depending upon variety can vary from vibrant canary yellow to pale yellow. The interior of the Spaghetti squash is a slightly paler hue of yellow than the squashes exterior and houses a large, moist seed cavity. Spaghetti squash is best known for its unique flesh that separates into long, translucent strings that resemble angel hair pasta. The texture of the cooked squash is tender with a slight crunch and offers a very mild, almost bland squash flavor. Spaghetti squash are ripe when their color changes from green to yellow, and when they snap easily off their vines.
Spaghetti squash are available year-round.
Spaghetti squash, botanically classified as part of Cucurbita pepo, is a vegetable marrow and a winter squash type. Unlike summer squashes which are eaten when immature winter squashes are allowed to mature fully on their vines. Spaghetti squash is also known as Vegetable Spaghetti and was one of the first squashes to become commercially popular in the United States. The Spaghetti squash's unique texture is attributed to the presence of a recessive gene known as fl. This gene makes the Spaghetti squash stand out among other marrows as rather than declining in quality as the squash ages like most other marrows the Spaghetti squash seems only to improve with age.
Providing vitamin A, folate, folic acid, beta carotene, and potassium Spaghetti squash is low in calories. An excellent source of fiber, deep yellow and orange colored squash offers the highest levels of beta-carotene.
Spaghetti squash has a hard rind and is sought after culinarily for its unique interior flesh which separates into pasta-like strings when cooked. Whole or halved Spaghetti squash can be steamed, baked, roasted or microwaved. Once cooked, the flesh can be shredded with a fork to make the stringy squash noodles the marrow is known for. Cooked Spaghetti squash can be sautéed with complimentary ingredients or added to casseroles, gratins, and bakes. Used as a pasta substitute, it can be topped with or tossed with sauces, vegetables, meats, cheeses, and herbs. Its flavor is so mild that it easily absorbs the flavors of that which it is prepared with. Complimentary ingredients include tomato, onions, garlic, greens, fresh herbs, cream, parmesan, mozzarella and feta cheese, ground beef, Italian sausage, and pancetta. Uncut Spaghetti squash will keep for a month at room temperature. Once cut squash should be kept refrigerated and wrapped in plastic. Cut squash is best used within two days.