the excitement of wandering around my new city has worn off, and i'm officially bored. my long-time readers (all three of you) know what happens when i'm not working and boredom sets in: i cook. when i'm snowed in, i cook. when i have nothing to do on a rainy Sunday, i cook. and in other circumstances for which i do not have past blog post links, i cook.
i'll be the first, and sometimes the second, to offer that i'm not a great cook, though i'm a fairly successful baker. i'm better with sweets than savory. my savory palate must be immature, because meals often backfire on me; however, that doesn't stop me from wandering around the supermarket aisles and praying to Ina Garten for culinary inspiration.
this week, with the onset of autumn weather and the taste of fresh butternut squash soup lingering in my memory from Saturday's autumnal dinner party, i decided to finally make a dish about which i've been curious for a long while: spaghetti squash.
with a little help from Martha's video tips for making a spin-off of the classic spaghetti and meatballs, i got started with plenty of time to roast and prep before my new roommate D got home. in case you don't know, the spaghetti squash is in the squash family and somehow can be turned into a substitute for spaghetti. i know, i'm like Wikipedia. so much useful information shared on this blog.
first i seasoned a sliced and disemboweled gigantic squash with olive oil, salt and pepper. next, i roasted the squash for exactly twice the amount of time that Martha told me i would need to roast it. (what kind of space oven are you using, Stewart?) fortunately, D was late getting home from work.
next i went totally off-recipe and made my own meatballs. MS's recipe involved fresh herbs and ground turkey. i've learned my lesson with ground turkey, and i no longer even try. i can't tell you how many times i've bought the lean, healthy alternative and been unable to use it because even when it's perfectly fresh, i think it smells rancid. three times. i just threw it away, fresh from the grocery store, three times. i guess i could tell you how many times. i think it smells like vomit every time i encounter it. last night i opted for super lean beef and whole grain bread crumbs instead. i also forgot to add parmesan cheese, but retrospectively decided, and told D, that i had opted for a lower calorie, still-delicious meatball.
once roasted to fleshy softness, the innards of the squash can be shredded with a fork and scooped out onto a plate, where upon far inspection they look like a pile of pasta. the roommate's late arrival allowed me to slow-cook the meatballs for approximately forever in a delicious sauce made by Ragu and very much tweaked by me.
the result was a meal that was good -- so good that i had eaten half of it before i was able to snap a blurry photo -- but that will never pass as pasta. D very much enjoyed it, and we both felt proud and healthy for choosing the low-carb, low-dairy, high-fiber alternative. as expected, it simply wasn't as satisfying as real spaghetti and meatballs.
in the end, i'm reminded of what the Bible says about food, "Life simply isn't as good without carbs."
on the other hand, a simple pasta dish couldn't have kept me busy for 2.5 hours on an otherwise lonely and boring night. thanks for that, spaghetti squash.