Spaghetti squash is delicious, and I’ve already posted one recipe on this site that is an Italian version. This particular recipe for spaghetti squash is a more spicy Spanish version made with Chorizo. I recently made as a side dish when serving Paella.
The recipe also incorporates Manchego cheese, a sheep-milk cheese that also happens to be the most popular and tastiest of Spanish cheeses. It is made in the La Mancha region of Spain.
Many people cut and remove the seeds prior to baking spaghetti squash. However, I prefer to bake the spaghetti squash whole, removing the seeds once the squash is cooked.
1 spaghetti squash
6 oz of chorizo, diced
1 large Spanish onion, chopped
5 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
3/4 cup Manchego cheese, shredded
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
2 tbsp olive oil
Sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper (to taste)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Pierce the spaghetti squash all over with a fork or a knife. Place in the oven and bake for 45 minutes to an hour. You will know when it’s done because a fork will slide easily into the flesh. Do not be concerned if the outside of the squash becomes browned during the baking. You’re not going to use the skin.
In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions and sauté for a few minutes. If you’re going to add the red pepper flakes (and I, of course, would not skip this), this is a good place to do it. Add your chorizo and garlic and continue to sauté. Add your salt and pepper to taste.
The squash should now be cool enough to handle. Cut off the top close to the stem, then cut the squash down the middle. Scrape out the seeds and discard. Take a fork and scrape the squash away from the skin and into the skillet. It will separate easily into long, spaghetti-like strands (hence, the name). Your squash is already completely cooked, so this is all about mixing the ingredients together, not about cooking the squash.
Add the chopped cilantro and the Manchego cheese. Stir completely and remove from the heat. Again, I urge you to taste the dish and adjust the flavor as you wish. If you think it needs more Manchego, feel free to add it. (Then again, I am admittedly a cheese-o-holic.)
Garnish with a touch of shredded Manchego on top.
This is a delicious side dish, but it can also serve as a great main dish with some bread, a salad, and some good wine.