This is a fabulous side dish of squash that I could actually make a meal of!
It’s fall and squash season again, with spaghetti squash one of the best, due to its unique texture that has a similarity to spaghetti.
Only this “spaghetti” is very low in calories. One cup of it only contains 35 calories and 10 grams of carbohydrates, versus spaghetti pasta containing 200 calories and 42 grams of carbs.
The spaghetti name for the squash comes from the fact that when it is cooked, the flesh of the vegetable is long and stringy in appearance, like spaghetti.
Spaghetti squash was developed in China during the 1890’s. Images of the Manchuria area have been found that depict a woman with her child cutting spirals of the squash using a rod on a sawhorse. The dried squash gave the people a food source that would last through the cold winter months.
In 1921, it was introduced to Japan by a Chinese agriculture research firm. The Sakata Seed Company of Japan was the first to market commercially the spaghetti squash in 1934 under the name Somen Nankin.
They developed an improved strain and introduced it in seed form around the world. In 1936, the W. Atlee Burpee Company picked up and marketed Sakata “vegetable spaghetti” seed for use in the Untied States.
The squash gained in popularity during Work War II when it was used as a substitute for pasta at a time when processed foods were harder to obtain. They could be grown at home in one’s “victory garden.”
Then the vegetable spaghetti faded into obscurity when food shortages were no longer an issue in the U.S.
It was rarely heard of again until the 1960’s, when it was “reborn” in California as “spaghetti squash.” The hippie counterculture proclaimed it a healthy “natural” alternative to processed food.
The vegetable eventually went mainstream, and by the 1980’s, its popularity grew even further, due to the more appealing taste and look. It has a great following these days, particularly among vegetarians and dieters alike.
They seem to be cast aside with their pale yellow color in the produce section of the grocery store, surrounded by the bright acorns, delicates, and pumpkins, but spaghetti squash is versatile and delicious and deserves to be cooked.
The squash can be added to a variety of dishes, such as soups and stews, or topped with pasta sauce and served as “spaghetti.”
This slightly adapted spaghetti squash recipe from Lindsay Olives is filled with meaty mushrooms, onions and black olives with Parmesan sprinkled over all.
It's very delicious with its great tasty flavors and I highly recommend you making this dish one of these evenings.
I hope you enjoy it as much as Bill and I did!
It is a keeper that I will be making again soon!
Spaghetti Squash with Mushrooms and Ripe Olives
1 small spaghetti squash
2 teaspoons olive oil
1½ cups sliced button mushrooms or 4 ounce package mixed mushrooms
2 cloves minced garlic
1 small white onion, chopped
1 cup ripe olives, halved or quartered lengthwise, depending on size
½ teaspoon seasoned pepper
Parmesan cheese, for garnish
Preheat oven to 375°.
Cut squash in half, scrape out and discard seeds.
Place cut side down on a baking dish that’s coated with cooking spray.
Bake about 45 minutes until fork tender.
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
Add mushrooms, garlic and onion, sauté 5 minutes.
Stir in olives and pepper, heat through 1-2 minutes.
Use a fork to pull out strands of cooked squash onto serving plates, top with olive mixture.
Sprinkle with Parmesan.