I’m calling this a pasta for the winter because of the spaghetti squash, but you should be able to find it as early as fall and possibly into spring. I know up here in Pittsburgh it didn’t appear in my grocery store until January/February, though, and was gone soon after. I had never even tried spaghetti squash before this and am not a huge fan of yellow summer squash, but I was pleasantly surprised that it didn’t taste anything like summer squash. And I like that this recipe still includes actual spaghetti, too, so it’s not as overwhelming to try it for the first time as "pasta!"
I found it was super helpful to microwave the squash for 3-5 minutes before trying to cut it in half. The recipe doesn’t tell you, but you can remove the seeds by scooping them out with a spoon. You can scrape a lot of the strings out with a spoon or fork as well Here’s a Youtube video I watched!
For anyone who doesn’t like olives, I left them out and it did not seem incomplete. This recipe is labeled a “pantry raid” in the BHG mag because it uses things you might have leftover in your pantry (which is usually never true for me), but I did happen to have the golden raisins because I used them in an amazing salmon recipe I’ll post later! They’re also good just plain, so if you like raisins, don’t leave them out. Overall, I thought this recipe was very easy and pretty cheap, too!
This meal is cooked differently – pretty much all on the skillet, other than the pasta itself – but has similar ingredients. I left the olives out of this one too, and it was still full of flavor. It's also great without the cheese, if you're trying to stay away from that.
We used more than 4 oz. of pasta and it was hard to get 4 full servings out of it, so I would recommend using at least 6 oz. of pasta or more.
I thought the lemons in the picture above were slices of squash before I looked at the recipe, and was really confysed about the instructions to “pass with lemon wedges, if desired.” I saw last minute that it suggests caramelizing the lemons, so we did that really quickly and tossed them with the pasta. They went well with everything and weren’t too sour – just don’t take a big bite of one!
You really have to prepare the ingredients in advance for this one because you have less than 4 minutes to get everything cooked in the skillet once you start. Other than that, it’s super easy!