Spaghetti Squash Gratin

This weekend was a big one ya’ll. I officially live on my own. With my own bills, in my own space, in my own company, but with many donated pieces of furniture and kitchen utensils provided by family friends and Mom. You’re probably wondering why this crazy betch moved in the middle of winter, but it was time. Before I started renting a bedroom out of a families’ home, I felt like I wasn’t ready to be completely alone, and living with a family who was so welcoming and made me feel comfortable and safe felt like the right choice at the time and I believe it was. It did make me realize, however, that I was ready to live on my own. (Even though as I type this I consider mentioning the fact that I wouldn’t let Caroline leave my apartment last night for a good twenty minutes because I jumped at every noise I heard and begged her to sleepover so I wouldn’t have to sleep alone…) But, I missed that time that I had before, for example, Heather would come home from class and I could run from the bathroom to my bedroom completely nude because I forgot to bring in the new bar of soap or I needed a new razor, or using speakerphone while talking on the phone, or blasting Martin Sexton from my speakers and leaving dishes crusted with spaghetti squash casserole in the sink because I’m too tired to clean it right away.

I woke up Saturday morning with, as cliché as it sounds, sun shining in through my window with the promise of spring, and blooming flowers, and new beginnings. As I drove to my new apartment with Tina’s (my car’s) backseat loaded to meet my parents and help them unload the couch, I felt nostalgic of driving home from high school in the spring; the feeling of fresh freedom and cruising on back roads with the window rolled down.

Kait and TJ came along to help the move, too. And after many heavy boxes, cautioning the icy sidewalks, TJ splitting his hand open on the bed frame, Dad cursing over getting the couch through the hallway, Kaitlyn slipping in her socks and almost cracking her head on the hardwood floor, Mom losing possibly 100% blood circulation in her fingers, and much debate over the location of the couch, bed, and infamous Beatles poster, we settled down with some craft beer, buffalo wings and juicy a$$ burgers at Elm City Brewery. Also, Kaitlyn almost getting shunned from Keene itself because she asked for Bud Light at a brewery that only offers craft beers.

Throughout the night, we all seemed to wake up various times due to the combination of alcohol intake and the endless noise of downtown Keene directly outside my windows, including the fire horn that sounds about every half hour, which, I don’t mind, but expect many others who will be sleeping over to mind. Maybe it is because I accustomed to the Duomo bells in Italy right outside my window, or the shouting and yelling of voices echoing through the Piazza, or the trash trucks of Keene beeping and banging outside my Main St. apartment window and the crowds of people outside the homeless shelter fighting and partying in the night, but I slept quite soundly last night.

As a light powder of snow covered the ground in the late afternoon, I began to break in my kitchen with some spaghetti squash gratin. Gratin, I am now aware, means a dish with a lightly browned crust of bread crumbs or cheese, in this case, CHEESE. I recently discovered this recipe on dailyunadventuresincooking.com, and documented it due to it’s short list of easy steps and ingredients. Also I’ve bee yearning to make a successful spaghetti squash dish.

In the end, I used to much cream cheese, and not enough spaghetti squash. The dish is quite cheesy, and I added cayenne pepper after I took it out of the oven and noticed it was lacking in some kind of contrasting flavor. This is an absolute rainy day, comfort food, or side dish. And it’s not exceptionally filling as it is delectable.

 

You will need:

1 spaghetti squash

1/2 a block of cream cheese

2 tablespoons chopped chives, or scallions

1/4 cup shredded Romano cheese (or I used a three blend of Romano, Parmesan and Asiago)

Salt and pepper to taste

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Preheat oven to 400 F. Cut the spaghetti squash in half and remove seeds and extra gunk. Sprinkle with olive oil and place on a baking sheet with the inside facing down.

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Bake squash for an hour, or until you can shred with a fork easily. Mix chives, cream cheese, shredded cheese and cayenne pepper to a bowl, and add in squash noodles. Once cream cheese is eve belt dispersed, pour mix into a baking pan and sprinkle with salt, pepper, and three cheese blend.

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