Parmesan Lemon Spaghetti Squash

parmesan lemon spaghetti squash

I’m hopping on the “Spaghetti Squash as a pasta substitute” train. Many of my friends had parents that made spaghetti squash as a pasta alternative during their childhoods; but mine didn’t. I never actually ate spaghetti squash until I was well into my 20’s – closer to 30 actually. And it just so happened to be my mom who made it the very first time I enjoyed this squash. I can’t really recall what sauce she served over it (something tomato based I believe), but I do remember thinking it was extremely tasty. There was still a slight crunch left in the squash; and it was a delight to have some actual flavour in the “pasta” rather than solely relying on the sauce to make my taste buds dance. This was at least 2 years ago. The first time I prepared spaghetti squash on my own was later in 2012. Finally.

You would think that going gluten free would have meant that I would have cooked up this hearty vegetable sooner than I did; and often. What a great, healthy substitute to the semolina pasta I deeply missed. Nope. I was driven to explore other pasta substitutes instead. Only in the fall – with the abundance of squash in the stores – did I finally throw a spaghetti squash into my cart. I enjoyed the earthy and slightly sweet flavour of the squash when I had eaten it previously; so when I first made it at home, I wanted to serve it with a “sauce” that was subtle, and that would highlight the taste of the squash. Bright lemons and salty parmesan were the sidekicks I chose to pump up the nutty sweetness of the squash; and it’s become a hit in our home. The best part: everything comes together in just a little over 10 minutes.

Parmesan Lemon Spaghetti Squash

Sauce is adapted from Everyday Italian by Giada de Laurentiis

1 3lb spaghetti squash
2 lemons
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup parmesan, grated
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped

Cut the spaghetti squash in half. Place enough water in a large microwave-safe dish so it comes up at least one centimetre. Place the squash, cut side down, into the dish. It doesn’t matter if all the sides aren’t touching the bottom; this is simply to steam the squash. Microwave for 10 minutes. Check the squash to see if it’s cooked through – if not, put back in the microwave 3-5 minutes at a time. The squash is cooked when it comes away from the rind easily with a fork. Once cooked, remove the squash from the dish and allow to sit for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, zest the lemons; you need approximately 1 Tbsp of zest – set aside. Then combine the olive oil, parmesan, salt and pepper and the juice from the 2 lemons in a small bowl. Set aside while the squash continues to cook.

Using a fork, scrape out all the spaghetti squash into a bowl (careful, it may still be piping hot!). Pour the lemon sauce over the squash, toss together with the lemon zest and parsley.

Serves 4-6.

We ate this with Giada de Laurentiis’s Shrimp Fra Diavlo from Everyday Italian.

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  1. #1 by Natasha on January 13, 2013 - 6:00 pm

    This looks amazing! Definitely going to try it.

  2. #2 by thglutenfree on January 13, 2013 - 8:53 pm

    Yum! That looks so good, and it’s all news to me :) I don’t know where I can find spaghetti squash though, is it a type of squash or is it the way it’s prepared?

    -Kristine

  3. #3 by Gorging George on January 13, 2013 - 10:01 pm

    I hope you like it Natasha!

  4. #4 by Gorging George on January 13, 2013 - 10:02 pm

    You should be able to find it near all the other squash in the grocery store – and it’s typically called “spaghetti squash.” I’m not entirely sure if it has another name in stores?

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