Spaghetti squash is a delicious winter squash with a uniquely textured flesh that separates into translucent, spaghetti-like strands when cooked.
Creamy yellow in color and oblong in shape, an average spaghetti squash weighs about 3-1/2 to 4 pounds.
Spaghetti squash can serve as a good alternative to conventional spaghetti as it's low in calories and fat and rich in beta carotene and fiber.
Although they're generally available year-round, peak season for spaghetti squash begins in early fall and runs throughout the winter.
When shopping, look for squash that are firm and smooth, uniformly yellow and free from soft spots.
Whole spaghetti squash can be stored in a cool, dry place for up to 2 weeks after purchase.
Preheat the oven to 375°F.
Cut the spaghetti squash in half lengthwise, scoop out the seeds and sprinkle with salt. Place the squash, cut side down in a 13 x 9-inch baking dish and add about 1/4 inch of water.
Tent with foil and bake until the squash is tender when pierced with a sharp knife, about 45 to 50 minutes.
Remove from the oven and use a fork to rake the strands of flesh out of the skin and into a bowl. Toss with olive oil or butter, salt and pepper and your favorite herbs or sauce.
You can also pierce the squash all over and microwave it for 12 to 15 minutes on high power, but the oven method yields more consistent results.