I always get excited when I see something new at the market. Recently, a friend and I were wandering stalls and I did a double-take. I saw this odd squash that sort of looked like spaghetti squash, but it was the color of pumpkin. I had to find out what it was.
The folks from Winfield Farms told us that they had planted spaghetti squash and pumpkins near each other the previous year. Apparently, the bees had been busy and when they planted the seeds this year, up came what she calls Pusghetti squash.
Like a pumpkin, the skin has a more orange hue than spaghetti squash, the seeds are large like pumpkin seeds and the flesh is not a stringy when you cook it as a regular spaghetti squash. The pumpkin also gives the meat a richer flavor.
I’m a big fan of using spaghetti squash as a substitute for pasta and decided to make a mushroom
and arugula pusghetti squash “pasta.” My one mistake was not considering the seeds and keeping them for roasting later. I got so focused on cleaning the squash, I didn’t think about saving the seeds until it was too late. Rookie mistake.
I believe that Winfield has finished harvesting their pusghetti squash, so feel free to substitute
with regular spaghetti squash. If you do find a pugshetti squash at the market, nab it fast.
In this dish, the peppery arugula really adds some punch to the richness of the mushrooms. The contrast in flavors and textures between the three vegetables is terrific.
Spaghetti Squash with Mushrooms & Arugula
1 spaghetti squash (or pusghetti squash)
1 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1/2 lb of mushrooms, cleaned and sliced (I used crimini or baby
bellas, but you can substitute with your favorite variety)
1/2 cup of white wine
a few sprigs of fresh thyme, leaves removed and chopped
1 bunch of arugula
Salt to taste
Parmesan cheese, grated
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Cut the spaghetti squash in half lengthwise. Scrape out the seeds. If you are using a pusghetti squash save the seeds for roasting. If you are using a regular spaghetti squash, toss the seeds.
Place about a 1/2 inch of water in a pan and place the squash cut-side (face) down in the pan. Bake the squash in the oven for about 30-35 minutes until tender. As the pusghetti squash is more dense than a regular spaghetti squash, I had to test mine a few times and roasted for about 35 minutes.
Remove the squash from the oven and set it to the side to cool so that you can handle it.
In the meantime, heat oil in a pan over medium heat and saute the onions and garlic. If you’d like a richer flavor, substitute butter for the olive oil. Add the wine. After a few minutes of cooking, add the thyme and cook until mushrooms are tender. At the end, add the arugula and cook for about a minute just to wilt it. Add salt to taste.
Using a fork, scrape the meat out of the squash and into the bowl. It will look a bit like pasta as you scrape it. Top with the mushroom and arugula mixture. Garnish with grated Parmesan cheese.