You may have noticed that I'm a big fan of spaghetti squash. I've made it with pesto, mozzarella, chicken meatballs and a light tomato sauce, etc. A few weeks back, I picked one up but hadn't decided yet how I wanted to use it. I also needed grated Parmesan at the time, but when I was in the cheese section by the deli, there was only shredded Parmesan for some reason. I usually buy either grated or a wedge and grate it myself. For whatever reason, I went ahead and bought the shredded, and I'm now very glad that I did, because I liked this so much, I've already made it again twice.
One word of warning - the third time I made it, I was having company for dinner, and since I would be making appetizers and dessert, it occurred to me to roast the squash the night before so I could free up the oven sooner the next day for dessert so it could be served while still warm. Bad idea - the squash released a crazy amount of liquid overnight that I ended up having to pour off, so the end product was a more dense/compressed version rather than nice and light and fluffy. It just had to be when I was making it for company. Oh well, still tasted great.
The reason the grated Parmesan worked so nicely was that rather than a topping like on a mac and cheese where you would mix breadcrumbs with grated Parmesan for a bubbly crispy topping, the shredded Parmesan created a different sort of crispy texture that I really enjoyed, and I found the flavor to be more pronounced.
1 spaghetti squash
1 can Delmonte Petite Cut Diced® Tomatoes with Zesty Jalapenos
(or with green chiles - ooh, I just saw that they have chioptle now too!)
- Carefully cut the spaghetti squash in half lengthwise, and use a spoon to scoop out the seeds.
- Brush the inside of the squash with a little olive oil, then roast at 375⁰ until fork tender. I like to start off with it cut-side down so the steam can work on it for a bit, then flip it over so it starts to caramelize.
- Allow to cool for a few minutes, then use a fork to shred the strands and transfer to a baking dish.
- Open the tomatoes and drain off some of the liquid, then toss the tomatoes with the squash.
- Top with a generous sprinkling of Parmesan, dot with butter, and bake at 350⁰-375⁰ until golden (time/temp will vary depending on what you're making to go with it, your baking dish, etc.)