This week we tried Stripetti Squash and it was a complete hit! All the squashes I bought recently have a little sticker on them with a brief description of their flavor and uses. I was excited to try the Stripetti because the sticker let me know it was a hybrid of Delicata and Spaghetti Squash. I was in the mood to use a few of our garden fresh tomatoes. When I grabbed the Stripetti I crossed my fingers that it would share the Spaghetti Squash's noodle-like texture so I could serve it like pasta. Oh man did it deliver!
The exterior of the Stripetti is very hard. I gave it about 8 minutes in the microwave to soften but even then I really had to work to get my knife through the skin. Just as I had it split open I realized I could use my handy little pumpkin carving saw, the one that came with my $2.99 plastic kit. I scooped out the seeds and stringy bits before using a little serrated pumpkin saw to cut the halves into three pieces each.
The two halves looked like great little baking vessels so I made a mental note to stuff the squash in the future. (The day was cooking, I was under a bit of a time crunch so I reduced the cooking time with smaller pieces. I also should have used a larger baking dish but I was really attached to the idea of my green oval so this time aesthetic trumped function.)
Before baking, I seasoned the sections with some butter-flavored spray, McCormick Perfect Pinch Vegetable Seasoning, and cracked pepper.
The squash baked in a 375 oven for about an hour and a half but could have used another 15 minutes.
While the Stripetti sections baked, I made a sauce of Italian Chicken Sausage (casing removed), chopped fresh tomatoes, baby bella mushrooms, and my favorite jarred garlic & basil pasta sauce made by Rising Moon Organics. The smells of sauce simmering and squash baking made my little kitchen very cozy.
The finished squash scooped easily out of its baked shell and mixed with the sauce as well as any al dente pasta. Compared to a basic Spaghetti Squash the flavor was much fuller and the texture felt denser. The completed meal tasted amazing and while light on the tongue it still delivered the soul-warming essence I look for in a winter squash dish.
The final selling point was the leftovers. This squash reheated really well and made two great lunches the next day. When my husband came home from work he let me know how much he enjoyed his leftovers and invited me to make the dish again, "anytime".
This squash was really easy to prepare, once I cut it open, and I can see a lot of possibilities for using it in place of pasta. I even thought about cooking it, chilling it, and then making a 'pasta' salad. I absolutely recommend trying Stripetti Squash especially if the starchier winter squashes don't appeal to you. This was another tasty Fall Squash Challenge success!
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