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spaghetti squash

Also called vegetable spaghetti, this creamy-yellow, watermelon-shaped winter squash was so named because of its flesh, which, when cooked, separates into yellow-gold spaghettilike strands. Averaging from 4 to 8 pounds, spaghetti squash are available year-round with a peak season from early fall through winter. Choose squash that are hard and smooth with an even pale yellow color. Avoid greenish squash (a sign of immaturity) and those with bruised or damaged spots. Store uncut spaghetti squash at room temperature for up to 3 weeks. After the whole squash is baked, the rather bland-tasting strands can be removed from the shell and served with sauce, like pasta. They can also be served as part of a casserole or cold as a salad ingredient. See also squash.