As most of you know, I live with Nonna and Nonna is not impressed with the evolving disdain the rest of the world is beginning to hold for her pasta, even if it is GMO-modified. In her 84 years of life, I think she’d be hard pressed to think of a day she spent away from gluten. Nonetheless, we’ve been experimenting with some variations of rice pasta and recently I’ve been trying with spaghetti squash pasta.
Although you’ll never fool an Italian with spaghetti squash, it does look surprisingly like spaghetti and produces some of that same, soft, pleasant mouth-feel that pasta gives us. One cup boosts only 42 calories (compared to around 200 for a cup of pasta) and carries with it far more vitamins and minerals than any type of pasta (no matter how delicious) could ever hope to. Nevertheless, I decided to feed Squash Pasta to a true Italian (Nonna) and see if it passed the test.
How to make it:
Set the oven to 375 degrees and wait 40 minutes.
Take the squash out and let cool. Then I scraped off all the insides (everything but the rind) into a bowl.
Add your favourite Italian sugo, or pasta sauce (more on that in another post), and serve with Insalata Della Nonna (radicchio, fennel, red pepper and lettuce, topped with extra virgin olive oil and homemade apple cider vinegar) e buono!
The verdict? Nonna decided to make her wheat pasta on the side, just in case. She kept calling the spaghetti squash zucca (her word for zucchini). She said “Chi mangia zucca e beve l’acqua, alza la gamba e la zucca scappa,” (He who eats zucchini and drinks water, lifts their leg and the zucchini escapes) meaning squash is water, not substantial, like, you guessed it, pasta! Ok, Nonna. She did say that she would never go so far as to make it herself, but she liked it. That’s food critic speak for “The most delicious thing I ever ate!” I award this recipe an Italian Pass!