Moroccan Spiced Spaghetti Squash

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My mother wasn’t a huge fan of spaghetti squash, so she never served it when we were growing up, consequently, I never buy it when I see it appear in stores in the fall. Last week I stopped at one of the last farm stands that is still selling vegetables, and I saw a big pile of spaghetti squash, so I bought one.

Having a microwave makes this side dish a snap. You microwave the squash and while it’s cooking, you melt some butter and mix it with spices. When the squash is done, you remove the flesh from the skin (it sort of looks like spaghetti), mix it with the spiced butter and you have something delicious. Really delicious. I will make this a regular fall/winter side dish in our house. My mother really liked it too. I skipped the cilantro because my mother and one of my sons think cilantro tastes like soap!

Moroccan-Spiced Spaghetti Squash
Recipe from Epicurious.com

1 (3 1/2- to 4-pound) spaghetti squash
1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro (optional)

Pierce squash (about an inch deep) all over with a small sharp knife to prevent bursting. Cook in an 800-watt microwave oven on high power (100 percent) for 6 to 7 minutes. Turn squash over and microwave until squash feels slightly soft when pressed, 8 to 10 minutes more. Cool squash for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, melt butter in a small heavy saucepan over medium high heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring, until golden, about 1 minute. Keep an eye on the garlic so it doesn’t burn. Stir in spices and salt and remove from heat.

Carefully halve squash lengthwise (it will give off steam) and remove and discard seeds. Working over a bowl, scrape squash flesh with a fork, loosening and separating strands as you remove it from skin. Toss with spiced butter and cilantro (if using.)

Yield: 4 servings


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