There’s a magic gourd waiting for you at the grocery store. It’s the spaghetti squash:
I’m surprised it’s not more popular but totally anticipating a mad rush to buy them once this post is published.
All you have to do is stab it a few times with a knife and roast it at 375° for an hour or so, depending on size (turn it once or twice during cooking), until it gives when pressed. Then, cut it in half:
remove the seeds, and use a fork to separate and scoop the “spaghetti” into a pot or bowl (I scoop it right into my pot of heated pasta sauce):
The whole inside of the squash consists of these long strands that you can use just like pasta. I normally just combine it with pasta sauce (yes, from a jar) and cheese and munch away, but there are lots of other ways to use it. I might try Herbed Spaghetti Squash soon, for example.
Bonus: the spaghetti squash is nature’s own weight loss program. One cup contains just 42 calories, so you can add pretty much any sauce and still have a low-calorie, filling meal. I’ve seen it in most grocery stores almost year-round, so give it a try!