Spaghetti Squash & Cheese

When I was in my final semester of undergraduate, I enrolled in an 8-week short course on cooking for the college student, aka cheap, fast, and (hopefully) healthy. Unfortunately, I found myself a little over qualified. I was one of very few upperclassmen and the only person to have worked in a restaurant. Most days this discrepancy wasn’t an issue; I enjoyed the class because it gave me an hour a week to discuss food. But, while the class as a whole was fun, the first ten minutes were always a gamble. Class members traded off bringing in food that they believed was good for students. These moments served as quite the teaching opportunity. For example, some muffins reinforced that baking powder and baking soda are not interchangeable. Potatoes are not good mix-ins for spaghetti. “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter” is not a substitute for butter in most baking.

When it came time for my turn, I decided to challenge myself . I would create my own recipe, keeping it cheap and practical. I’ve seen spaghetti squash recipes, but none of them utilized “cheese” like I wanted. And so I created a spaghetti squash & cheese recipe that I have since fallen in love with.

Spaghetti Squash & Cheese
The kind of cheese you use can greatly influence the flavor. My advice? Something strong that you love. Just play around. It’s pretty hard to mess this up if you like the cheese already.

1 spaghetti squash
1 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp flour
⅔ cup skim milk
⅓ cup cheddar
⅓ cup Gruyere
1 tsp salt
1 tsp nutmeg
¼ cup breadcrumbs

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Cut squash in half length wise (this is the hardest part of the whole recipe). Lay the squash, cut side down, in a pan with a shallow dish with a little bit of water. Roast it—20-30 minutes, until easily pierced with a fork.
While the squash is roasting, place butter in sauce pan over medium heat until it is melted. Add flour to the butter, mixing constantly (it makes something called roux). Add in milk, salt, and nutmeg and mix until fully combined. Stir in cheese until it has melted and allow to simmer until thickened
The squash should be about ready, so grab a fork and scrape out the inner meat (horizontal makes the prettiest dish) and place in a bowl. Mix in the cheese mixture
Top with breadcrumbs and 1 tablespoon of melted butter and bake for 20 minutes

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