Spaghetti Squash Alfredo

Ingredients

1 spaghetti squash
2 to 4 teaspoons olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup heavy cream or ranch salad dressing
1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for topping
1/4 cup crisp-crumbled bacon or bacon bits (optional)
red pepper flakes (optional)

Instructions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.

Carefully cut the squash in half lengthwise. Scoop out and discard the seeds. Brush the flesh with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and black pepper, to taste, then place halves on the prepared baking sheet, cut side up. Bake for 1 hour, or until tender and the spaghetti “strands” flake easily when raked with a fork. Transfer the sheet to a cooling rack for 5 to 10 minutes.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Using a fork, scrape the spaghetti strands away from, but not out of, the outer shell. Leave some squash flesh intact to help support the sides. Add to each half 1 tablespoon of butter, 2 tablespoons of heavy cream, and 2 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese. Using two forks, toss the ingredients with the strands. Taste, and adjust the seasonings, if desired. Spread the squash mixture even in each shell. Sprinkle with bacon bits (if using), pepper flakes (if using), and Parmesan cheese. Return the squashes to the oven and bake for 15 minutes more. Cut in half and serve hot, in the shells.

Yield: 

Makes 4 servings.

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