One shortcut is the preparation of the squash. Rather than cut in half, scoop out the innards, peel, chop, steam, the recipe instructs:
Scrub the squash, then stab deeply with a large knife several times to allow steam to escape. Microwave on high, turning frequently, until the squash surface gives to a firm squeeze, about twelve minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool enough to handle.Pay attention to the large knife reference. It's important.
I stabbed it with a long but smaller bladed knife, one I use mainly for slicing tomatoes. Although I made sure the blade went all the way through the flesh and into the hollow core, the knife left a smaller hole. I made no less than 7 or 8 cuts, all around the gourd.
Squash have starches and sugars. They escape with the steam out them there teeny tiny holes. And sometimes, those starches and sugars clog the itty bitty holes, creating a vegetable bomb.
I turned the squash one last time in the microwave and gave it two more minutes of nuking. The machine finished the cycle and beeped. With the microwave noise gone, we heard something odd, like a buzzing/clicking. We looked at each other across the table. What could that be?
Suddenly, BAM!! The microwave door blew open and spewed hot, gooey squash all over the kitchen countertop, walls, and floor, and very nearly, us, too. The cat, who had been sleeping on the dinette cushion next to me, shot out of the sleeper and into the cab like she had a rocket up her ass. Hoss and I looked at each other in total disbelief for a second, then burst into laughter.
Oddly enough, the squash blew 98% of the seeds and slimy guts out the door while the edible, meaty portion of the squash remained on the microwave plate.
It made some fine Carbonera, but next time I'm using a much larger knife.