There is nothing new under the sun, so I'm not reinventing the wheel with this one. But when my lovely neighbor brought over a garden-grown spaghetti squash from her yard, and said she couldn't "get it open", much less cook it, I had to laugh.
I sometimes forget, that we all have different areas of interest, and mine has lead me to the deep knowings of silky Butternut Squash Bisque with caramelized apples and sizzled bacon or tender pieces of Kabocha Squash simmered in a coconut curry broth with Thai chiles.
This recipe is so simple it seems crazy to type out - but heres to my lovely neighbor, who's squash I will gladly hack open for her anytime.
Roasted Spaghetti Squash & Pesto
by Chef Heather Mader
1 spaghetti squash
2 bunches of fresh basil, leaves removed
squeeze of fresh lemon juice
1 clove garlic, peeled
1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan
handful of walnuts, pine nuts or almonds (or pumpkin seeds for those with nut allergies)
Preheat oven to 375. Cut off root end of squash, stand squash up on the cut end, and starting at the top of the squash, cut down lengthwise. Scoop out and discard seeds and string.
Place the cut sides up on a parchment lined cookie sheet and drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle on salt, pepper and garlic. Bake for 45-50 minutes, until squash flesh can be pierced with a fork.
While squash is baking make pesto. In a food processor add basil, lemon juice, garlic, parmesan, nuts salt and pepper. Pulse several times to chop. Then while machine is running, drizzle olive oil through the feed tube until pesto forms a thick paste. Taste and adjust seasonings. If pesto is too thin, add a few more nuts. If pestois too thick add more oil. (Thinner pesto works best for this recipe)
When the squash is done and still warm, release the squash from the sides first using a fork, then lift it out. This will preserve the strands. Place in a bigger bowl and add a few tablespoons of pesto and lightly toss the strands in the pesto. Serve as a side dish or do what I do: EAT IT!