I really wanted spaghetti squash. Shuffling through the grocery store aisles on Sunday with the rest of the masses preparing for the week (why do I keep doing that? You’d think I would learn…), the only cohesive meal idea that I could fathom mustering the energy for was spaghetti squash. I got all excited about sauteeing some mushrooms, dousing it in olive oil and grating fresh parmesan on top. No such luck. Trader Joe’s had acorn and butternut, Whole Foods had pumpkins and other gourd-shaped edible squash, but no spaghetti squash. Apparently everyone in Chicago had the same idea as me.
Still wanting to include a seasonal squash in my diet, I picked up a zucchini and a yellow squash and decided to make do. I wasn’t sure what I would actually do with them, but the idea of the contrasting green and yellow browning fragrantly in a pan was mighty appealing. I decided to saute them with mushrooms and add on top of pasta. I actually wasn’t in much of a pasta mood so I made a minimal amount and went heavy on the veggies – a variation on the Mark Bittman approach, perhaps.
A quick dice of the veggies and a toss into a fry pan with oil and soon the room filled with a lovely, squashy aroma. I added in chopped garlic at the very end to avoid that burnt garlic flavor infecting my squash. I expected the squash to release some moisture, but I was surprised at how watery the fry pan got. When the veggies were browned to perfection, I tossed them with steaming pasta and added parmesan cheese (my favorite staple ingredient.)
Truth be told, I could’ve done without the pasta altogether. The squash was so filling on its own and the naturally nutty flavors so delicious, the pasta seemed more of an afterthought. Don’t get me wrong, I ate the whole thing, but maybe rice would have been a better choice.
I love Hillary’s challenge to eat something pumpkin for the rest of the season, but I’m going to expand that to something squash-related. Not that pumpkin isn’t incredibly versatile, but don’t forget about silky acorn squash and nutty butternut squash too! As for me, I’ll continue to stalk my local grocers and hopefully bring home a spaghetti squash one day soon.