Spaghetti Squash with Mushroom Sauce

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I’m on a mushroom kick.  This is a relatively new frontier for me because I grew up without them.  My sister Sarah is allergic to mushrooms – she once broke out in hives after eating some at Disney World when we were young and we spent the day in the hospital eating Dunkin’ Donuts instead of on the rides with Daisy and Goofy.  So we didn’t cook with mushrooms in our house.

Fast forward to today and my 2016 goal to cook with new ingredients every month.  I’ve been slowly ordering mushroom dishes at restaurants (thankfully, I don’t have that allergy), but now it’s time to bring them into my kitchen.  Mushrooms are April’s new ingredient! This spaghetti squash recipe is easy, filling and great for meatless Mondays.  It’s also delicious thanks to the earthy umami flavors of the mushroom sauce.  This recipe is for two full portions or three smaller portions.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Spaghetti Squash
  • 2 tbsp EVOO (extra virgin olive oil), divided
  • 4 cloves Garlic
  • 1 tsp dried Thyme
  • 1 tbsp Shallot
  • 2 cups, sliced Mushrooms
  • 1/3 cup, Chicken or Vegetable Stock
  • 1 tbsp Butter
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan
  • 1 tbsp Parsley
  • S&P (salt & pepper)
  • Optional: 1 tbsp dry White Wine or dry Vermouth

Here’s what I did:

First, pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees and get your spaghetti squash cooking.  Cut the spaghetti squash in half, scrape out the seeds and rub with olive oil, salt and pepper. Place face down in a baking dish with 1/2 cup of water and roast for about 40 minutes.  More details on cooking spaghetti squash, here.

Wash, dry and thinly slice the mushrooms. Chop the garlic and mince the shallot.  About half of one small shallot is a tablespoon – you can eyeball it if you don’t want to get your measuring spoons out.

Sauce the garlic, shallot and thyme in one tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat in a medium sized pan for about two minutes. Add the mushrooms and a sprinkle of kosher salt.  Sauté the mushrooms for about 6-8 minutes or until golden brown.

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Now it’s time to make the sauce. With all the veggies still in the pan, add the chicken stock and the white wine, if using. Stir frequently until the sauce reduces down by half and thickens, about ten minutes.

Take the pan off the heat, stir in the butter and half the grated parmesan.  Adjust the seasonings to taste.

Serve the mushroom sauce over the scraped out spaghetti squash. Top with the rest of the parmesan and the parsley. Enjoy!

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A few notes, FYI:

Cleaning mushrooms can be time consuming if you are rubbing the dirt off of each individual mushroom with a brush instead giving them all a quick rinse under water together.  Advocates for the hard way are worried about the mushrooms taking in too much water, thus becoming bloated and losing flavor.  After careful review and our own kitchen tests, we think that although the mushrooms will absorb a little bit of water from a quick rinse, it’s not enough to merit the labor-intensive method of scrubbing each one with a brush.  Just rinse off the dirt and then pat them dry immediately.  Make sure they are as dry as possible before cooking and you won’t sacrifice any flavor.


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