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The temperature is starting to dip and wet days are ahead which means it’s time for comfort foods to keep a belly warm. I’m not a big fan of pasta but I like the versatility that it brings to my meals. I’ve been looking for a pasta alternative and I think I’ve found the next best thing with spaghetti squash.

You can roast, boil or even microwave it and it starts showing up in markets in the early fall.  The stringy flesh is wonderful with a little butter and herbs as it is perched underneath tomato sauce and meatballs. Plus, it’s so very simple to prepare!

What You Need

Ingredients
1 medium spaghetti squash (about 3 pounds)
3 to 4 tablespoons olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon chopped herbs of your choosing (rosemary, basil, thyme, chives, dill), for serving
1 tablespoon butter, for serving

Equipment
Sharp chef’s knife and cutting board
Medium-size roasting pan (or baking sheet)
Fork
Small serving bowl

Instructions

1. Cut the squash in half lengthwise with a sharp knife. Be careful, go slow, and cautiously slice the squash in half.

2. Scoop out and discard the seeds.

3. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Place squash halves cut side up on a heavy-bottomed roasting pan. Brush with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. You don’t have to be too careful here: just slather, sprinkle, and it’s ready!

4. Roast for about 45 to 50 minutes, or until a fork punctures the flesh of the squash easily. If the squash seems to be drying out while baking, brush with an additional tablespoon of olive oil.

5. Remove squash from the oven and allow it to cool just enough so you can handle it, about 3 to 4 minutes. Scrape the flesh from the squash into wonderful, stringy “noodles” with a sturdy fork and place in a small serving bowl. If some of the strands clump or gather together, simply separate them using your hands.

6. Serve squash with a bit of butter and a teaspoon or so of your favorite fresh or dried herbs. Alternatively, see some of the recipes below for inspiration and more advanced ideas.

Additional Notes:
• If you have leftover cooked spaghetti squash, it keeps wonderfully in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days and reheats in the microwave. Sometimes I’ll actually make extra on purpose to have leftovers throughout the week

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