Spaghetti Squash

late summer, early fall

This member of the winter squash family is a pretty good keeper, although, again, not as good as a butternut. Some will keep for weeks and weeks, others will begin to develop spots in a week or two. So keep them dry and in a cool place, and keep an eye on them.

As for the contents of that squash, the larger the squash, the larger the strands of “spaghetti” inside. You can bake, steam or microwave the squash and then top it with squash as you would pasta or combine with a creamy squash and bake au gratin, or top with dressing and serve warm or cool. Refrigerate it until you’re ready to cook.

To steam: Halve squash lengthwise and scoop out seeds. Set pieces over rack (cut squash again if you need to make it fit) over boiling water. Cover, cook until a finger leaves an indentation in the shell, 20 to 30 minutes. “Comb” out the strands with a wide-tined fork.

To bake: Prick whole squash in several places. Bake at 350 degrees until a finger leaves an indentation in the shell, 35 to 45 minutes. Set on cutting board and halve immediately (so it won’t continue cooking). Scoop out and discard seeds. Pull out strands with a wide-tined fork.

To microwave: Halve squash lengthwise and remove seeds. Set in microwave container, season if you wish, and top with a little oil or butter. Cover and microwave 10 to 15 minutes. Let rest 5 minutes, then pull out strands with a wide-tined fork.