The notion of growing noodles in your garden sounds as preposterous as growing money on trees, but in truth it's not difficult. Spaghetti squash is true to its name, producing copious quantities of spaghetti-like strands from a single vine. The squash must be cooked in advance, but once it's prepared the noodles can be reheated at any time for use with your favorite sauce.
Baking Whole Spaghetti Squash
Puncture the squash's hard rind in several places with a skewer or the tip of a paring knife, so steam can vent as it cooks. Otherwise it might explode in your oven.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the squash on a parchment-lined baking sheet and slide it into your oven.
Bake the squash until it can easily be pierced with a fork or skewer, approximately 45 to 60 minutes. Remove the squash from your oven, and let it cool enough to handle.
Cut the squash in half lengthwise, and use a spoon to scoop out the seeds and their surrounding pulp. The flake the spaghetti-like strands from the edge to the middle with a fork, making a mound of strands in each half-squash. Scoop those into a serving bowl.
Serve the squash "noodles" immediately with your favorite spaghetti sauce, or package them for the refrigerator or freezer. Reheat the squash in your microwave as needed, or immerse the strands for a few minutes in hot water to rewarm them.
Baking Halved Squash
Place the squash on your cutting board, and use a heavy chef's knife or cleaver to split it in half lengthwise.
Preheat your oven to 350 F. Use a spoon to scoop the seeds and pulp from the cavity of the squash. Season the inside with salt and pepper, if desired.
Place the halves cut side down on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Slide the sheet into your oven, and bake the squash halves for 30 to 45 minutes or until they can easily be pierced with a fork or toothpick.
Remove the squash from your oven and let it cool until it can be handled comfortably. Scrape the strands of vegetable "spaghetti" from the edges of each half into the middle, then scoop them out into a bowl.
Serve the strands fresh and hot with white or red spaghetti sauce, or package them for later use and refrigerate them.
Before cutting into any squash, it's prudent to wash the outer rind carefully with running water. This will remove any soil bacteria adhering to the surface, before you cut through it with your knife.