What is your criteria for a good side dish? Easy? Nutritious? Affordable? Tasty? Kid-friendly? For me, all of the above. Lately, my favorite side dish that meets all of those requirements is spaghetti squash. I love to bake it in the oven and then just toss the strands with parmesan and butter (recipe below). So simple, yet so delicious. Have you tried spaghetti squash? How to you serve it?
When I was a kid, I remember my parents served it with a traditional bolognese sauce … which leads me to the “memories” portion of this post. That bolognese sauce is the same one that we made on “Kids’ Cooking!” back in 1988.
Earlier this week, my friends from Austin Public Access found an old copy of the show. I hadn’t seen it in over 20 years, so it was fun to watch and reminisce!
Here’s a short clip of the “Halloween Show” (hence, the witch costume). In this clip, I’m making bolognese sauce for a dish called “Cowboy Macaroni.” Please pardon the terrible quality; I haven’t figured out how to import the video directly yet, so I had to film the show playing on the television while Jack was watching it.
Oven-Roasted Spaghetti Squash with Parmesan and Butter
Serves 6 (as a side dish)
1 tablespoon light olive oil
1 spaghetti squash
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
Salt and pepper, if desired
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Drizzle the olive oil on the foil.
Microwave the whole squash for 3 minutes (this will make it easier to slice in half). Slice the squash in half, lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds and discard. Place the squash, cut side down, on the foil-lined baking sheet.
Bake at 400 degrees until soft, about 35 to 40 minutes. (As Ron Popeil would say, “set it and forget it!”) Remove from oven. Let cool for 10 minutes. Using a potholder and spatula, turn the squash over so that the center is exposed. Run the tines of a fork down the center of the squash to pull up the strings of “spaghetti.”
Transfer pulled squash to a large bowl and toss with butter and Parmesan cheese. Season with salt and pepper if desired. Serve warm.