In this series, local chefs give us their favorite recipes, full of fresh, seasonal ingredients, just in time for the weekend.

By Chef Rich Baringer

It’s the time of year that our farmers’ markets and CSAs start providing us with winter squash–acorn, butternut and one of my favorites, spaghetti squash.

Why do I like it so much?  Well, it’s tasty and healthy and easy to prepare and you can use it just like you would real spaghetti.  Plus, it is pretty cool how it goes from squash to spaghetti with just some scrapes of a fork.

So you can feel free to top it with your favorite marinara sauce or with a little olive oil and Parmesan.  But here is a recipe that’s full of flavor and is simple enough to do on a weeknight.  Use some local chicken breasts and good Parm and you’re all set.

Spaghetti Squash

CREAMY CHICKEN OVER SPAGHETTI SQUASH

Serves 4

INGREDIENTS
2-3 pound spaghetti squash
2 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp flour
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cup chicken broth
1 lb skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2″ pieces
1/4 cup heavy cream (or milk)
1 medium tomato, diced
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1/2 cup fresh parsley and/or basil, chopped
Salt and black pepper

HOW TO

  1. Preheat oven to 475 degrees.
  2. Cut squash in half, pole to pole, and scrape out seeds.  Season with salt and pepper.  Line a baking sheet with foil and place the squash halves cut side down.  Roast for 30-40 minutes or until flesh is very tender.  (Check with a paring knife.)  Remove from oven.  When cool enough to handle, scrape the flesh from the skin and into a bowl using a fork.  (Kids love doing this part.)
  3. While squash is cooking, heat the butter in a medium saucepan.  Add flour and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly.  Add the garlic and broth and bring to a boil, whisking constantly.  Add chicken and simmer, uncovered, 7-10 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.  Add the cream or milk and bring to a simmer.  Season with 1 tsp of salt and pepper to taste and keep warm until squash is ready.
  4. Transfer squash to serving bowl or divide onto individual plates.  To the sauce, add the cheese, herbs and tomatoes.  Season with salt and pepper as needed.  Serve the sauce over the squash.

Rich Baringer is chef/owner of Dinner’s Done Personal Chef Service.  Rich grew up in Haycock Township and has lived (and eaten) in Bucks County his whole life. He now lives in Blooming Glen Village with his wife, Mary Beth, his son Jake, and Ophelia, the cat. Rich graduated from the Culinary Business Academy in Atlanta, is a member of the U.S. Personal Chef Association and owns Dinner’s Done Personal Chef Service. For more information about Dinner’s Done PCS, contact Rich at 215.804.6438,  dinnersdonepa@comcast.net or check out his website.

Need to find a farmers’ market near you? Click here to see our local food guide on Farmers’ Markets.

 

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