Ariel Dillon of Redwood Empire Farm sends out a great newsletter to their CSA members and folks on their list - this week easy instructions for pumpkin pie and using spaghetti squash.
Turn Your Pumpkin into Pumpkin Puree:
Just so you know, 1 medium sized sugar pie pumpkin will make one ten inch deep dish or 2 nine inch pies.
1) Wash the outside of the pumpkin with water. This is to remove any residual dirt...they were grown on the ground after all!
2) Cut the pumpkin in half lengthwise and scrape out the stringy bits and seeds. Be sure to save the seeds...toasted or roasted, they make a great appetizer or fantastic garnish.
3) Place the two cut sides cut-side down in a over-proof baking dish or roasting pan and either cover with a lid or foil.
4) Bake in a oven preheated to 375 degrees for about one to one and a half hours or until tender . Cooking time may vary, so check occasionally by piercing with a fork.
5) Let cool slightly and scoop out the cooked flesh. If there is any standing water, let the pumpkin sit for about a half hour and pour off any pooling water. Then, puree or mash your pumpkin and use it for those yummy pies!
How to Cook Those Illusive Spaghetti Squash:
1) Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2) Cut squash in half lengthwise. Scrape out seeds and brush cud edges with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper (if you like).
3) Place cut-side down on a baking sheet or in a roasting pan and bake for ~45 minutes (until fork tender).
4) Let cool slightly (about 10 minutes).
5) Scrape squash with a fork to remove flesh in long spaghetti-like strands. Now you're ready to use the squash in the recipe of your choice!
Here are a few ways I like to use spaghetti squash:
-Toss cooked squash with tomato sauce and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese for a guilt-free spaghetti substitute.
-Toss cooked squash with freshly chopped herbs (whatever you have on hand: parsley, cilantro, basil, thyme, sage, rosemary...get creative!), olive oil, Parmesan cheese (fresh goat cheese would work too), and top with toasted and chopped almonds or hazelnuts.
-Saute chopped garlic in a skillet with olive oil. Once the garlic is fragrant, add cooked spaghetti squash and season with salt and pepper. Cook for about 5-10 minutes, or until squash is hot.