Travis County 4-H Teen Champ Demos his Winning Recipe

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He's a state cooking champ, and just a Senior in High School! Will Whitaker is a proud member of the Travis County 4-H, and today he shows us how to make his award winning dish, Spaghetti Squash Italiano!

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Spaghetti Squash Italiano

1 (4 lb.) spaghetti squash 1/3 c. water 2 cloves garlic, minced 1 small onion, chopped 1 T. olive oil 2 large yellow squash, halved lengthwise and sliced 1/2 c. chopped sweet yellow pepper 1 medium tomato, seeded and chopped 1 (7 oz.) jar sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained and cut into strips 1 T. minced fresh basil or 1 tsp. dried basil 1 T. minced fresh parsley 2 tsp. minced fresh oregano or 1/2 tsp. dried oregano 1/2 tsp. salt 1/8 tsp. pepper 1/4 c. grated Parmesan cheese, divided Garnish: fresh basil sprigs

Pierce spaghetti squash several times with a fork; place in a 13- x 9-inch baking dish. Microwave, uncovered, at HIGH 10 minutes. Cut in half lengthwise; discard seeds.

Place spaghetti squash, cut side up, in baking dish; add water. Cover tightly with heavy-duty plastic wrap, turning back one corner to allow steam to escape. Microwave at HIGH 12-14 minutes or until tender, turning squash every 5 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes. Drain and cool.

Using a fork, remove spaghetti-like strands to yield 4 cups, leaving 2 (1/4-inch thick) shells. Place strands in a large bowl; set aside. Drain shells, cut side down, on paper towels.

Saute garlic and onion in hot oil in a large skillet 3 minutes or until onion is tender. Add yellow squash and yellow pepper; cook 3-4 minutes or until crisp-tender. Add onion mixture squash strands. Stir in chopped tomato and next 6 ingredients. Add 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese; toss gently.

Spoon squash mixture into reserved squash shells. Place stuffed shells in baking dish, and bake in oven at 400 for 5 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining 2T. parmesan cheese. Garnish, if desired. Scoop out to serve.

Yield: 6 servings

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