Spaghetti squash. Love it? Me, too.
Don't love it? Maybe I can change your mind.
Either way, read on.
I have to tell you all a little story.
Back when cauliflower was making a name for itself and stomping all over carbohydrate's parade, I was just beginning my weight loss journey. I saw a recipe on Pinterest for cauliflower pizza. So I thought, "why the heck not?" I was so excited to flex my kitchen skills that I came from the grocery store feeling like Julia Child trying boeuf bourguignon for the first time.
I laid out everything I needed, studied the recipe and began my masterpiece. I cooked and pulsed the cauliflower, excitement growing. (I'm such a food nerd...I know.) I rung the moisture out until my arms were about to fall off. Mixed in the egg and cheese and spices. Popped it in the oven.
Took it out. My excitement was peaking at this point. I looked my "pizza". Disappointment washed over me. My masterpiece was a master disaster. At this point I felt more like Julie who failed her attempt at making boeuf bourguignon for the food writer (Julie and Julia, 2009). It was floppy and tasted like mushy, over-cooked cauliflower. I vowed never again.
Then I found spaghetti squash pizza. All the feelings happened again. I HAD to try one more time.
Background: I love pizza. Like peanut butter loves jelly. Or like Romeo loved Juliet. Okay, bad examples. But pizza has always been and will ever be my favorite food.
I have been trying to find an acceptable healthier, wheat-less pizza for a long time, and this looked promising. So I thought, "Let's give it a whirl."
Same process as the cauliflower pizza. Like the exact same. When I pulled the concoction out of the oven to flip it over, it was so stuck that I had to grab a second piece of aluminium foil, flip over the pizza crust and slow peel off the original piece of foil. I baked it for a few more minutes. The crust seemed to gel a little bit better on the flipped side.
I removed it a second time, topped the crust with halved grape tomatoes, spinach and some mozzarella cheese. I broiled the pizza for five minutes until the cheese was all melty and bubbly and goey and delicious. Five minutes was about a minute and a half too long because the edges had begun to burn. As I opened the oven to take it out, my face met a plume of smoke barreling toward me. I waved it aside, pulled out a fork and tried a taste. Worlds better than my cauliflower pizza. Still a little too floppy to be considered pizza - I couldn't hold it my hands so I had to eat it with a fork. But it was still pretty tasty.
My conclusion: nothing ventured, nothing gained. Or in this case, nothing learned.
This pizza tasted nothing like pizza, but it satisfied the craving.
Was it worth the two hours of prep? No.
I think I'll just order from one of the dozens of incredible pizza places in this city.
Here's the recipe in case you want to try.
[recipe title="Spaghetti Squash Pizza" servings="1-2" time="too long"]
- 1 medium spaghetti squash
- 1 TBSP olive oil
- 1 egg
- 1/2 shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1 TBSP Parmesan cheese
- Salt and pepper
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Carefully cut your spaghetti squash in half with a large, sharp knife. Remove seeds and stringy guts, and brush the cut sides of the squash with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Place spaghetti squash, cut side down, on an aluminum-lined baking sheet and roast until tender, about 30-45 minutes.
- Let the cooked spaghetti squash cool for about 5 minutes, then scrape all the flesh into a bowl. Taste and season with some more Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper if needed.
- Wrap squash in a cheesecloth, clean kitchen towel, or several layers of paper towels. Squeeze out as much moisture as possible.
- In a bowl, combine the squash, egg, mozzarella cheese, Parmesan cheese, and salt and pepper.
- Press squash in a thin, even layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet and form into an approximate 10-inch circle.
- Bake at 400°F for approximately 20 minutes. Remove from oven, carefully flip, and cook for another 10 minutes.
- Add desired toppings and bake until done.