Orangetti Spaghetti Squash
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Orangetti squash is small to medium in size, averaging 17-20 centimeters in length, and is oval, oblong, to cylindrical in shape with rounded ends and a short, black-green, woody stem. The golden-orange rind is smooth, hard, and thick, speckled with many cream-colored flecks and spots. Underneath the rind, the pale orange to dark yellow flesh is firm, moist, and crunchy when raw and encases many flat, oval seeds in a pulpy, central cavity. When cooked, the fibrous flesh becomes tender, crisp, and juicy with a stringy, pasta-like texture. Orangetti squash has a mild, sweet, and nutty flavor.
Orangetti squash is available year-round, with a peak season in the early fall through winter.
Orangetti squash, botanically classified as Cucurbita pepo, are hybrid fruits that grow on a compact bush and are members of the Cucurbitaceae family. Developed in Israel, Orangetti squash is a close relative of the yellow spaghetti squash and is a heavy bearing plant producing smaller fruits with a deeper rind and flesh color. Orangetti squash was one of the first vegetables from Israel to keep its original name when introduced to the United States and was created to have a sweeter flavor, favored by consumers for its ability to be used as a healthy pasta substitute.
Orangetti squash is an excellent source of beta-carotene and also contains potassium, fiber, zinc, calcium, iron, copper, and vitamins A and C.
Orangetti squash can be used in a variety of cooked applications such as boiling, sautéing, baking, steaming, and stir-frying. When cooked, the flesh transforms into stringy, pasta-like strands that hold their shape and crisp texture when mixed into sauces. Orangetti squash can be used as pasta in both red and white sauces, or it can be used as a chow mein noodle substitute in stir-fries. It can also be mixed into bowls with meat and taco seasoning, used as a cold noodle substitute in salads, cooked into casseroles, or used in pad Thai. Orangetti squash pairs well with meats such as chicken, beef, or pork, broccoli, snap peas, green beans, onions, garlic, tomatoes, herbs such as oregano, cilantro, cumin, coriander, and basil, pine nuts, and cheeses such as parmesan and mozzarella. The squash will keep up to three months when stored whole in a cool, dry, and dark place. When cut, the pieces will keep up to five days when wrapped in plastic and stored in the refrigerator.
Once known as “vegetable spaghetti” in the United States, spaghetti squash was initially introduced to the United States in 1936 by the Burpee Seed Company. The squash did not reach nationwide popularity until it was renamed to spaghetti squash in the 1980s, and due to its increase in demand, the Orangetti squash was developed as a new and improved cultivar. Both spaghetti and Orangetti squash have seen another recent resurgence in popularity in the United States in the last five years due to health food bloggers searching for carbohydrate substitutes. With the nation focusing its efforts on healthy lifestyles and reducing obesity, squashes are being promoted as a nutritional pasta substitute, and through Instagram, food blogs, and Facebook, recipes are being shared to raise awareness and increase healthy living. There is even a variety named “Hasta la pasta” from New York that was created as a whimsy play on the squash’s role as a pasta substitute.
Orangetti squash was created in 1986 at the Newe Ya’ar Experiment Station in Israel as a part of the Agricultural Research Organization’s Department of Vegetable Crops. Developed to be an improved variety of squash with a sweeter flavor, Orangetti squash was then introduced to the United States in the early 1990s, and today the squash can be found at local markets and specialty grocers in North America, Europe, and select regions in Asia.
Recipes that include Orangetti Spaghetti Squash. One is easiest, three is harder.
|3 Winks Design||Orangetti Squash with Chicken|
|Tomorrow's Organics||Roasted Orangetti Squash|