One of the first lessons in transitioning to a Paleo lifestyle is how to make spaghetti squash taste like real pasta.
Unfortunately, this is a lesson in futility. Spaghetti squash does NOT taste like the doughy chewey strands of durum pasta. It tastes like strands of water. But, when wheat pasta is off the list, it definitely makes a great substitute in pasta dishes, just as long as the expectations are not set too high. I actually love spaghetti squash and I have always roasted it until brown and then smothered it in homemade meatballs and gooey cheese. It’s a good day when spaghetti squash boats are on the table.
Cutting and roasting a spaghetti squash is not hard, but it does take some time. I found a great alternative to have spaghetti squash on my table in 15 minutes (total time, not cook time) AND with lovely long strings like spaghetti.
Did you know that the strands of a squash wrap AROUND the middle. They do not run the length of a squash. That is why cutting a squash lengthwise cuts all the strands into shorter pieces. Cutting the squash into rings will result in LONG strands that are perfect in pasta dishes.
For this technique, I used my beloved Instant-Pot. I use this at least once, usually twice a week and it cuts the cooking time.
1. Slice the squash into 1-2 inch rings. Remove the seeds from each ring.
2. Add the trivet to the bottom of the pressure cooker. If you cannot find it, use the rings from mason jar lids. Place the rings in the pot with 2 cups of water.
3. Set the pressure to high, close the vent lid, and set the cook time to 5 minutes. When the timer goes off, CAREFULLY using a towel or wooden spoon, toggle the vent switch to VENT and release the steam slowly.
4. Remove the rings and carefully pull strands away from the skin with a fork. The skin should easily unwrap.
5. Enjoy the long strands! Top with a veggie pesto sauce, spaghetti sauce, plain olive oil with roasted vegetables, parmesan cheese, etc.