Oh, PASTA, how I love your carbolicious goodness, let me count the ways…
I love you as a side, a main dish, under sauce, covered in cheese, in a casserole, as a lunch treat, with veggies or with meat!!
Pasta, you are the prefect comfort food; however, our relationship is a little bit out of control. You are not quite as good for me as I would like you to be.
It’s not you, Pasta, it’s me.
Maybe we can still be friends, I would really like that.
That pretty much sums up my relationship with pasta. I LOVE it. I am a carbohydrate monster and pasta is just one of the many delicious carbs that make me happy.
However, as I am now about to enter my MID thirties, I realize that, perhaps, there is too much of a good thing. It’s time to change my ways, but it’s hard when you are a carbohydrate monster!!
I have memories from my childhood about Spaghetti Squash. Good memories, but I have not been able to recreate anything good with spaghetti squash since then. I have no idea why.
People always said, “Oh, I use spaghetti squash in place of pasta and put marinara or meat sauce on it, it’s just like real spaghetti”. Well, I have to tell you, I tried it.
No, it is NOT like real spaghetti.
Pasta is Pasta and that’s that.
Spaghetti squash is good, but not when you look at a plate and your mind thinks, “pasta, carbs, mmmm” and then you get that forkful of SQUASH! Disappointing.
But, I know that I need to fuel myself with more veggie goodness and less carby yumminess. However, if you told me I needed to take carbs out of my life totally, I would just lay down and refuse to live.
Yup, that’s how I feel. No point to lie about my feelings.
Moderation, it’s all about moderation. I am learning to be better at moderation. 😉
So, I was inspired by a magazine recipe which incorporated spaghetti squash and spaghetti. I thought, “that’s it, why haven’t I ever considered that before”?
I just knew this was the ticket to finding love in something new and holding on to something I already love.
Of course, I didn’t care for the recipe itself. I didn’t have what was needed in the house for it either!
I started peering in the fridge, freezer and pantry to get inspired. I kind of felt like I was a contestant on Foodnetwork’s, CHOPPED!
In the end, I am super pleased with my culinary creation and I think I will more often than not try to use two spaghetti in my future dishes.
Spaghetti Squash (medium-sized–should yield about 4 cups of cooked squash)
8 oz (half a box) of Spaghetti pasta
3 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
2 cloves garlic
4 oz brie or cream cheese, cut in cubes (I only had brie in the fridge)
2 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp flour
1 1/2 cups milk
2 Tbsp parmesan cheese (or more if you’d like, that’s all I had, to my shame)
Fresh basil leaves, about 10, chopped
Salt and Pepper
Put chicken breasts on a baking sheet and brush lightly with olive oil and season with salt and pepper, on both sides. Place in oven on 350 and cook about 30 minutes or until chicken is 170 degrees. Flip over once during cooking.
Pierce squash ALL OVER with a knife. Cook in the microwave for about 7 minutes, turn it over and cook another 10 minutes, turn again and cook 3 more minutes. Each time you turn it, check for tenderness, if it is tender all over, it’s finished. Let cool a few minutes and cut in half, lengthwise.
Boil water and salt and cook pasta per package directions, till al dente.
Scoop out seeds from squash. Take a fork and run down the squash meat, it will look like spaghetti. Keep pulling out the meat until you get it all in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
When chicken is done, let rest for about 5-10 minutes before shredding. Visit this site for the best tip on shredding,
How to Shred Chicken at http://beautyandbedlam.com/how-to-shred-chicken/ This is AMAZING!!
Drain pasta. Put empty pot on stove on medium heat and add butter and flour. Whisk until paste forms. Slowly add milk and whisk until slightly thickened, about 5-7 minutes. Add brie cheese or cream cheese, stir on low heat until melted into sauce, add garlic, minced. Add salt and pepper to taste and basil, stir well.