Spaghetti Squash, Gluten-free, Less Calories than Pasta
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Spaghetti squash, though a member of the large pumpkin/squash Curcurbita family, it spagsquashpossesses a unique quality of its own, unlike any other vegetable. Once its flesh is microwaved, boiled or baked whole, then cooled, you can quickly open it, remove its seeds, then drag the once-solid, now cooked flesh, downward over a bowl, and it tumbles out in beautiful, yellow, spaghetti-like strands, ready to be dressed or sauced and devoured deliciously as one would a guilt-free pasta!

These squashes weigh between 3 to 5 pounds and are available all year. However, their peak season is early fall through winter. It has other names, too. Some of them are vegetable spaghetti, noodle squash, spaghetti marrow and vegetable marrow.

Spaghetti squash was first developed in China, then introduced into Japan around 1920. The Burpee Seed Company imported it into the U.S. in 1936, where it didn’t catch on quite quickly. With other wartime food shortages, ispaghetti squash gained more popularity during WWII, and is only now being used widely here. Continue reading

Pesto is Practically Presto!
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Pesto, an herb sauce for pasta, means “crushed or pounded,” and it is one of the simplest Italian dishes.PESTO-300x225 It originated centuries ago in northwestern Italy, in the Ligurian section, where basil grows wild and abundantly. And, it wasn’t long before cooks there were mixing the basil with garlic, cheese, pine nuts and olive oil. It required no cooking.

Just a little pesto can make a whole bowl of pasta a delicious meal, and the cost is very pleasing. Here is a list from which you can build your own pesto, lots of them, no two alike:

GENERAL METHOD FOR ITALIAN BASIL PESTO:

(See suggestion lists below for vegetable, flavoring, nuts and cheese substitutions.) Continue reading