Spaghetti squash is a wondrous vegetable, one of our fall favorites. The flesh cooks into long, tender strands like, well, spaghetti, only sweet and earthy-tasting. Cooks sometimes make the mistake of tossing spaghetti squash with robust pasta sauces that obscure the delicate taste. Here, inspired by classic cacio e pepe, we treat it gently, tossing the cooked strands with a simple sauce of minced garlic and shallot warmed in olive oil, black pepper, and freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. Serve this with our Whole Roasted Chicken, Roasted, Herbed Beef Tenderloin, or—for an inspired vegetarian meal—next to Kale and Potato Mash with Romesco Sauce.
- Yield: 4 to 6 servings
- Difficulty: Easy
- Total: 1 hr 30 mins
- Active: 10 mins
- 1 large spaghetti squash (about 5 pounds)
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 medium garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 medium shallot, finely chopped
- 3/4 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, plus extra for serving
- Heat the oven to 400°F and arrange a rack in the middle. Cut the squash in half lengthwise and scrape out the seeds. Brush the flesh with 2 tablespoons of the oil and season generously with salt and pepper. Place the squash halves cut-side up on a baking sheet and roast until fork-tender, about 50 minutes.
- Remove the squash from the oven and let sit at room temperature until cool enough to handle, about 30 minutes. Scrape the flesh with a fork to make long strands; set aside.
- Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil in a large saucepan over medium heat until shimmering, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and shallot, season with salt and pepper, and cook until softened and lightly browned, about 3 minutes.
- Add the reserved squash, toss with tongs to coat thoroughly, and cook until heated through, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the cheese a handful at a time while tossing the squash to evenly coat. Serve with freshly ground black pepper and extra cheese.