Spaghetti Squash, Three Ways

--Three ways to dress one 3-pound spaghetti squash.

Prepare the squash: Preheat the oven to 375 F. Bake the squash until the flesh is yielding and soft, an hour or more. Slice the squash in half and scrape out the seeds. Now drag a fork through the flesh, pulling the strands apart.

1. Baked Spaghetti Squash with Gruyere and Parsley

1 c grated Gruyere
2-4 T butter
1/4 c parsley chopped with 1 garlic clove
salt and freshly milled pepper

Toss the squash strands with the parsley, cheese, and butter. Season with salt and pepper and serve.

2. Baked Spaghetti Squash with Tomato Sauce

Olive oil
salt and pepper
1-2 c tomato sauce
Parmesan cheese

Toss the strands lightly with olive oil, salt, and pepper, then pile them on a platter. Make a nest in the middle for 1-2 c tomato sauce. Toss, then serve. Pass parmesan cheese at the table.

3. Spaghetti Squash with Mushroom Ragout

4 teaspoons olive oil
1 lemon
2 medium onions, sliced 1/2 inch thick
3/4 lb mixed mushrooms, sliced on the diagnal
3 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped (optional)
1 T fresh tarragon, chopped (optional)
salt and pepper

Make the ragout: Add olive oil to a skillet and saute onions. Add juice of one lemon. Add mushroom pieces to the skillet and brown. Add parsley and tarragon. Turn off heat and let stand a few minutes.

Season squash with butter or olive oil, salt, and pepper, then mound it on a platter and surround with the mushrooms. Toss before serving.

Adapted from Deborah Madison's book Vegetarian Cooking For Everyone.