I had other plans for this spaghetti squash, but inspiration hit me this week and I ended up with this spicy and garlicky Shrimp Scampi Spaghetti Squash instead. I regret nothing.
This week has been crazy good and incredibly productive. Taking two weeks off from writing and producing content felt very strange because I’m such a busy body, but it was necessary. I allowed myself to put my feet up with tea and a book for several quiet afternoons over the holidays and it was pure bliss—but two weeks of that was more than enough. When I cracked my laptop open on Tuesday, so much got done.
I’m sure my new early bedtime/early rise time is playing a role in this victory.
Sleep is important and coffee is everything.
Spaghetti squash is fun. I’ve never looked at it as a sub-in for noodles, I just appreciate it as its own thing and I thought it would go swimmingly with these spot prawns.
I don’t cook with shrimp often because, well, it’s pretty taboo. Especially in a space where sustainability is a big conversation. (Like here.) Finding sustainable sources for shrimp is a headache! Unless you can get your hands on local Northwest wild shrimp, you’re kind of out of luck as far as legit best choices go. And even the tiny percentage of US farmed shrimp from closed systems rated as “best choice” are flawed.
What’s a shrimp lover to do?
Don’t feel ashamed indulging once in a while. Sustainability is the goal, but no person or practice is absolutely perfect. The major issue is that shrimp is so wildly consumed (it’s the most consumed seafood in America, even more than canned tuna); add to that the fact that much of the shrimp fishing and farming out there is destructive for the ocean, the human rights of the fishermen, and for indigenous livelihoods, well… that’s just a whole lot of hurt.
The takeaway should be to be mindful, stay informed, and do the best you can.
If you make this recipe, please snap a pic and tag me on Instagram @killing__thyme! I love hearing from you <3
Shrimp Scampi Spaghetti Squash
Lighten things up by bringing spicy and garlicky shrimp scampi to tender spaghetti squash.
- 1 large, or two small, spaghetti squash
- 1/2 lb shrimp, shelled and deveined—keep the shells and set aside
- olive oil
- Kosher salt and cracked black pepper
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 2 TBSP butter
- 1/2 cup diced red onion
- 4-6 garlic cloves, minced (I love it garlicky, so I used 6)
- 1/4-1/2 tsp crushed red pepper (depending on how spicy you'd like it)
- 1/2 cup dry white wine, + more as needed
- 1/4 cup vegetable broth
- 1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
- Freshly squeezed juice of half a lemon
Cooking the spaghetti squash
Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees F.
With a fork, poke several holes in the spaghetti squash. Place it in the microwave and cook it for a minute or two to soften it up. This makes cutting it in half much easier. Repeat with the other squash if you're cooking two.
With oven mitts, carefully remove the squash from the microwave and place it on a cutting board. Cut the very ends off. Wearing oven mitts, slice into the squash lengthwise. I always do this with oven mitts on just in case there's a knife slip. You do have to apply quite a bit of pressure when slicing it, and hey, you never know. If you own chainmail, use that ;)
Once the squash is sliced open, take a spoon and scoop out the stringy innards and seeds. You can set the seeds aside to bake and eat for later, if you want.
Drizzle each half of squash with a bit of olive oil and sprinkle with salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
Bake in the oven for 30 minutes. When ready, shred the squash with a fork and transfer to a bowl or dish; set aside.
Melt butter in a large skillet over moderate. Add the garlic and onions, and sauté until fragrant, about one minute. Add the wine, broth, red pepper flakes, and plenty of cracked black pepper, and bring to a low simmer.
Put the shrimp shells into the pan and let them simmer on low for about 8-10 minutes. The shells will infuse tons of flavor into the sauce. When done, remove the shells with prongs or a slotted spoon. The sauce should have reduced by half as it simmered, but if you think you need more, add a few more splashes of wine.
Pat the shrimp dry and season with a bit of salt and pepper. Add them to the pan and sauté until they turn pink and opaque, about 1-2 minutes per side depending on their size. Stir in the parsley, lemon juice, and spaghetti squash. Toss to coat, and serve.