ahh in the hurried descent of the sun, biting winds, and treacherous sidewalks, young fancies turn to thoughts of squash!
two recipes: spaghetti squash... gratin? and whatever squash you like gratin. the first is a molly kotzen recipe, and the second is the esteemed deborah m.
let's begin the medley with the any winter squash gratin because i know spaghetti squash freaks some people out and we may as well ease into it.
thus preheat the oven to 325 degrees, though perhaps not quite at the beginning since the chopping, dicing really, of the squash can take quite a while. unless of course your kitchen is really cold and you need an excuse to warm it up.
2 winter squash(es?), i have only used butternut, peeled and diced as small as your arm can take
2 cloves of garlic, diced
1/2 cup fresh parsley
some salt and pepper
toss the squash pieces with the above ingredients in a large bowl. then add 3 tbs of flour and toss again. pour/scrape/finegle the mixture into a oiled casserole dish, leaving the leftover flour in the mixing bowl. bake for like 2 hours.
the spaghetti squash has more ingredients but is faster in terms of from cutting board to mouth time. the temperature suggested is 375 degrees.
halve a spaghetti squash, they are yellow and disguise their inherent freakishness rather well. you can either bake it in the oven for half an hour, or wrap the halves in saran wrap and microwave them, i would say 8 minutes, and then another 5-8. either way when it is done scrape out the seeds and let them cool.
meanwhile combine the following in a pan:
1 cup of chopped onion, you may as well put more
2 cloves of chopped garlic
salt and pepper
some mushrooms, probably one of those blue boxes, or more if you feel inspired
1/2 tsp oregano
some basil and some thyme
when they are sauted, add 2 chopped tomatoes and cook until the t-juices are mostly gone.
scrape out the squash innards and put them in the pan with everything else. yes, i also find them (the innards) a little disturbing.
transfer the squash melange into a greased casserole dish and cover with grated mozarella. if you want less of an upper skin of cheese you can mix it in, but really i don't understand why you wouldn't want a bubbling browning layer of cheese. on top of that add some breadcrumbs and parmesan. bake for about 40 minutes and voila. strange and disturbing but so delicious.