A most unusual squash is being grown in Western Australia. Simple to cook, you’ll have some fun with this versatile vegetable, mixing and matching flavour and texture combinations. Contained inside the yellow shell is an unassuming sweet flesh that when coaxed out with a fork, transforms into long noodle-like strands.
The yellow ‘spaghetti’ has a similar texture to pumpkin and zucchini with a mild nutty flavour that combines well with many ingredients. Grown by the Eatts family in the Southern Forests Region under their Morning Glory Farms label, they are available from mid-summer to early autumn. When in season it’s super-fresh and is a delicious low-carb pasta or noodle alternative. As they’re not available for long, when you see them, buy them!
Early in 2019 Bevan Eatts approached us to ask if we would design a set of recipes and film tutorial cooking videos to inspire people to cook this squash variety. At that time, as well as retailing locally, Bevan had an Asian market who wanted to import Spaghetti Squash.
Bevan value-added to his produce and designed a QR Code printed on the sticky label attached to every squash. The code, scanned into a smart phone allows customers to discover information on where the squash is grown, plus enjoy cooking a tasty Matters of Taste recipe! Local fresh food innovators such as Bevan enable consumers to be educated in getting the most of their purchase, as well as feeling connected knowing where the vegetable was grown and by whom. Such a great initiative.
Having learnt more about preparing and cooking this vegetable since we filmed the recipe series, here are more tips and tricks as well as a quick explanation on cooking spaghetti squash.
- Cut in half from root to tip and once cooked, the flesh can be scraped into noodles and left in its natural serving bowl.
- The direction of fibres runs parallel to the circumference of the squash, so if cut in half around the middle, the cooked strands will be longer.
- Cut the squash into 2cm thick round slices, discard central seeds, place rings on large baking tray and drizzle with a little olive oil, season with a few salt flakes and bake in a moderate oven for around 30 minutes, until tender. This results in drier, longer noodle-like strands than if cooking in the traditional baking method as shown on our video.
- Basic cooking instructions – pre-heat oven to 180°C. Cut squash in half. Remove seeds from the middle by scooping out with a spoon, discard. Lightly drizzle flesh with olive oil, salt and a touch of pepper if liked. Place cut side down on a non-stick paper lined baking tray and pierce shell two to three times with a fork to allow steam to escape during cooking. Bake for 30-40 minutes, until flesh is soft. When cool enough to handle use a fork to fluff flesh away from skin to separate into strands.
- Time taken to cook, depends on the size of the squash, but 30 to 40 minutes is a good starting point. If overcooked the noodles can become watery and soft, ideally they should retain strand-like properties.
This squash is rich in antioxidants which maintain overall health – Beta-Carotene which is great for clear eyesight, Vitamin C for bones, skin and cells along with other minerals that our bodies need but cannot produce so have to ingest. Low calorie but high fibre, it assists in keeping your gut healthy and is a useful inclusion if you prefer a mainly plant based diet.
Or simply just eat it because it’s yum.
More recipes available on Matters of Taste’s Collective including:
Spaghetti Squash with Italian Meatballs (pictured)
Bacon, Cheese and Broccoli Spaghetti Squash
Thai Coconut Pork Spaghetti Squash