In the 1930’s a Japanese seed firm, Sakata Seed Company, diligently sought new plants to promote when they stumbled upon the Chinese squash. Sakata took the squash and worked to develop a better strain. Once that was accomplished they introduced the seeds to the world.
In 1936, Burpee Seed Company purchased the seeds and began marketing them in America, under the name of “Vegetable Spaghetti.”
The American public was slow to warm up to this new squash and so it became mostly obsolete. And then World War II happened and with it came a food shortage. Italian noodles were hard to come by, so as a result the “Vegetable Spaghetti” found its resting place within the “Victory Gardens” across the land. After the war when noodles were readily available the “Vegetable Speghetti” once again faded into obscurity.
Finally, in California, during the 1960’s, the “Vegetable Spaghetti” was reborn under the name of “Spaghetti Squash.” Much of its popularity spread throughout the hippie culture where it was promoted as a natural alternative to processed food. Eventually mainstream America jumped on the “Spaghetti Squash” band wagon and by the 1980’s it was well known throughout the United States.
When choosing your Spaghetti Squash look for one that is dense, uniform in color with no green and void of soft spots. This little jewel is chocked full of vitamins (A, B1, B2, B3, B5, B6) and contains trace amounts of zinc, phosphorus, iron, calcium, magnesium and copper. Not only is it a low calorie food (1 cup=42 calories) it is also a great source of potassium.
Above, I cut my Spaghetti Squash in half length-wise and then “gutted” it of it’s seeds and pulp. If you desire longer “noodles” cut the squash crosswise as the strands grow around and not up and down. I rubbed the inside of my squash with olive oil, salted it, and added fresh cracked pepper.
I lined my pan with foil, sprayed it with Pam, and laid my squash cut side down. Some people suggest adding a little water (1/4 inch) to keep it from drying out; however, I didn’t and mine turned out great. I put my squash in a 400 degree oven to cook for 45-50 minutes. I have also cooked my squash in the microwave for 10-15 minutes and it turned out fine.
The squash is done when the flesh is easily pierced with a fork. Remove squash, let cool until cool enough to handle.
With a fork rake the insides to create spaghetti like strands.
Toss “spaghetti” with crispy bacon crumbles, Parmesan cheese, and spinach.
Serve with your favorite spaghetti sauce. I love Prego…because it’s in there!