I love me some squash, but I have never, ever been a huge fan of spaghetti squash.
I want to love it- I really do- something about its long, spaghetti-like strands makes me want to love it- but I’ve never prepared it in a way that completely wows me. I think the problem is that I am SO not a pasta-lover, and spaghetti squash is often promoted as a low-carb, gluten-free, paleo, etc., sub for pasta. I don’t much care for pasta, so I’ve never really been into squash that pretends to be pasta because, well, I don’t need a sub for pasta in my life. If I’m making bolognese, I eat it neat. No need for pasta, or for pasta-imposter squash.
And then I got a spaghetti squash in my last CSA box of the season. Darn.
I really hate wasting food, so of course I needed a way to make it awesome. I remember my mom made some awesome spaghetti squash with bacon when she stayed with us right after the little one was born. (For the record, that’s about all I remember. I was about as deer-in-headlights as one can be.) So I was super-creative and googled ‘spaghetti squash bacon.’ Nobel prize-winning googling, that is.
What did the google-machine spit back at me? Spaghetti Squash with Bacon, Garlic and Parmesan. Winner!
I mean, even if spaghetti squash still didn’t rock my world, I was still eating something with bacon, garlic, and parm- three ingredients that definitely rock my world! But surprise of all surprises, I was a huge fan of the whole dish. There was enough of the squash flavor that I love, plus the bacon, garlic, and parm. And the scraping of the squash to obtain squash stringlets was about the most fun one could have with a fork.
I know spaghetti squash is something the low-carb/Paleo community promotes as a pasta substitute… but I’m here to tell you that hell no’does it taste like pasta. That’s like eating yogurt and pretending it’s chocolate. That’s crazy. But it’s ok! Spaghetti squash tastes like… squash! Squash topped with bacon, garlic, and parm! You still come out on top because it’s awesome!
- 1 spaghetti squash, around 4 pounds
- Olive oil
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 4 slices bacon, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, chopped
- Parmesan cheese, shaved or grated
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Wash the spaghetti squash and slice it in half lengthwise.
- Scrape the seeds from the center of the squash and discard. Brush the inside and cut edges with olive oil, then sprinkle generously with salt and pepper.
- Place on the prepared pan cut side down and bake for 30-45 minutes or until a sharp knife can be easily inserted easily. Once it's done, set it aside to cool for a little bit while you make the bacon goodness.
- While the squash is cooling enough to handle, fry the bacon over medium heat until crisp. Add the garlic to the bacon and continue cooking one minute or until fragrant. Remove from heat.
- Use a fork to scrape the flesh from the squash in long strings. Place in a bowl.
- Add the bacon and garlic to the bowl of squash.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper to taste and top with Parmesan cheese (either grated, like this, or fat shavings (use a vegetable peeler).