Low in saturated fat and cholesterol with tons of Niacin, Vitamin B6, Dietary Fiber and Vitamin C, this winter vegetable is made sublime with the addition of spinach, specially-prepared bacon, red pepper flakes, pastured butter, sea salt, cracked pepper and freshly-grated nutmeg.
Boldly-flavored and satisfying, this dish is inexpensive and easy to make..
1 organic spaghetti squash (cucurbita pepo, squaghetti)
1-1/2 cups spinach, blanched and squeezed dry
4 oz thick-cut bacon
1 cup filtered water, boiling
olive oil as needed
sea salt and freshly-cracked black pepper
2 tablespoons pastured butter
red pepper flakes to taste
Split the squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds and fibrous material as you would do before carving a pumpkin for Halloween.
Place the squash cut-side-up on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Mist with olive oil and season liberally with sea salt and cracked black pepper.
Place the squash in a 300 degree oven and roast slowly for 1-1/2 hours. Increase oven temperature to 400 degrees and continue to roast until squash begins to brown and char slightly, about 30 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside, keeping warm.
Meanwhile, prepare the bacon by cutting it into 1/2-inch strips and placing it in a heavy skillet set over medium high heat. Pour the boiling water over the bacon and allow to cook until the water is half gone.
Pour off the water and rendered fat and return the pan to medium-low heat. Cook the bacon until nicely browned, then remove from heat and set aside, keeping warm.
Melt the butter in a large saucepan set over medium heat.
Using the tines of a fork, shred the cooked squash into the pan with the butter, separating it as best you can.
Toss the squash so that its coated with the butter, then add the spinach and red pepper flakes and stir to combine.
Continue cooking and stirring the squash and spinach until heated through, then taste and adjust for salt and pepper.
Turn the squash out into serving bowls. Top with bacon (including some of the drippings) and just-grated nutmeg. Serve immediately.
“Spaghetti squash are relatively easy to grow, thriving in gardens or in containers.
The plants are monoecious, with male and female flowers on the same plant. Male flowers have long, thin stems that extend upwards from the vine. Female flowers are shorter, with a small round growth underneath the petals. This round growth turns into the squash if the flower is successfully pollinated.
Spaghetti squash plants may cross-pollinate with zucchini plants.”