Monday, March 17, 2014 Spaghetti Squash Pad Thai

I squash season over already?!
This winter I fell in love with roasting vegetables. They are just as wonderful by themselves but I would use them in salads or pasta too. I even had Spaghetti Squash for the first time! (I'm a little behind on this wonderful gourd.) I completely undercooked it the first time I tried roasting one. The oven temperature was too low and I may have been  definitely was impatient with the roasting process. 

The first recipe I made was literally turning the squash into a classic spaghetti dish. Roasted Squash, filled with Red Gravy (also known as spaghetti sauce) and fresh Mozzarella. The squash roasts alone until tender and then again with sauce and cheese is warm and until it's wonderfully melty. The 'pasta' is eaten right out of the half of squash, the scooped out center serves as a bowl for the red gravy & cheese. After a few times attempts at this meal, I learned a helpful tip to roasting the Spaghetti Squash perfectly. Roasting it upside down lets the water from the Squash it turn to steam and speeds up the cooking process.

One afternoon, I was talking to Mrs. S on the phone about life and squash recipes (a fairly normal conversation). I asked for her favorite Spaghetti Squash recipe. She didn't have a specific recipe but she loves using the squash to make a gluten free Pad Thai (my recipe was inspired by version I found on the blog 'A Couple Cooks'). The Squash works just like noodles and does a wonderful job holding onto the Thai spices and flavors. I couldn't wait to give it a try!

Makes: 4 to 6
1  Spaghetti Squash, Halved
1 Bunch Green Onions, Sliced
½ Cup Fresh Cilantro, Chopped
2 Small (or 1 Large) Sweet Potato, Shredded
½ Red Pepper, Thinly Sliced
4 Cloves Garlic, Minced
2 Whole Eggs
1-½ Cup Bean Sprouts
3 Tbsp Sweet Chili Sauce
3 Tbsp Soy Sauce
1 Lime
½ Cup Pines Nuts, Toasted
Preheat to 400°F. Using a large, sharp knife, cut the spaghetti Squash in half. Scrape out the seeds and guts using a spoon, and sprinkle the cut sides with olive oil. Season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Cut 3-4 vents into the back of the Squash. Place the Squash cut side down on a baking sheet and roast until tender and easily pierced with a knife, about 45 minutes. When the Squash is done, use a fork to scrape out the flesh of each half into “noodles”. Place the noodles in a colander or sieve and drain for 10 minutes to remove the extra moisture.

Meanwhile, prepare the Vegetables: peel and shred Sweet Potatoes. Thinly slice one half Red Pepper. Mince 4 cloves garlic. Thinly slice 4 green onions. In a small bowl, beat together two eggs. Separately, thinly slice 1 green onion and chop about ½ cup of fresh cilantro.

In another small bowl, mix together the sauce: mix 3 Tbsp Sweet Chili Sauce, 3 Tbsp soy sauce, juice of ½ Lime, and if desired, a few squirts of Sriracha.

When the squash is ready, in a large skillet heat 2 tablespoons peanut oil over medium high heat. Add the Garlic and Scallions cook until fragrant, about 45 seconds. Add the Red Pepper, Sweet Potato and Squash Noodles. Cook about 2 minutes, until the vegetables are heated through but still crisp. Remove from heat, pour in the Eggs and coat ingredients thoroughly and quickly (so as to cook, but not scramble). Mix in 1 cup Bean Sprouts. Add 3 pinches Salt and toss together. Add the sauce and stir to combine.

Garnish with plenty of pine nuts (or peanuts would be more traditional, I didn't have any on hand), fresh bean sprouts, and chopped cilantro and green onion.
Happy Cooking!

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