Have you ever eaten spaghetti squash? If you haven’t, you really should give it a try. To me, it’s just like eating pasta. We’ve been planning on making homemade lasagna with homemade noodles for a week or so and then we realized that the pasta machine is packed up in one of the few remaining boxes in the old apartment’s storage closet (ooops!) So, today after work we were going to go to the grocery store and pick up a box o’ noodles! Well, then work happened and here it is 9:00PM and Andrew’s still at work (poor guy). Luckily, I had a back-up plan; spaghetti squash! It was awesome. I realize it looks like a complicated recipe because of all the steps, but I promise it’s not! In the end it comes out not as beautifully as a stack of freshly made lasagna with handmade noodles, but I guarantee it tastes just as good!
1 Medium-Sized Spaghetti Squash (if you have too much, you can always make something else with it!)
1C Tomato Basil Sauce (marinara will do, pasta sauce will do, etc we used low fat tomato-basil)
1C Ricotta (we used part-skim)
3oz. Mozzarella Cheese (we used part-skim and 1 oz shredded, 2oz. sliced but it doesn’t really matter)
2t Olive Oil
1/2 Yellow Squash, diced
1/2 Zucchini, diced
1C Broccoli, diced
1/2 Red Pepper, diced
Salt, Pepper, Garlic, Italian Seasoning, Red Chili Pepper Flakes (to taste, and any other spices!)
To preface this, we used a loaf pan, something like this would do —>
1. The first thing that you’re going to want to do is cook the spaghetti squash. It is usually easiest to do this in the microwave, however we used the oven. To use the oven, preheat to 375 degrees F. Cut the spaghetti squash down the middle length-wise (you will need a sharp and large knife- think cleaver!)
2. Scoop out the seeds and stringy parts, leaving the inner squash intact.
3. Place the two halves rind-side-up on a baking sheet and into the oven.
4. Roast for about 30-45mins (our gas oven took 30mins).
5. To check to see if it’s done, stick a knife into the rind-side of the squash. If it slides in easily it is done.
6. Set squash aside to cool down.
7. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (if you’re doing this all at once, you obviously want to just decrease the temperature of the oven)
8. Place a large skillet over medium heat and add the olive oil. Allow olive oil to coat pan. Add in diced vegetables.
9. Stir fry for about 5 minutes. Be sure to stir the vegetables around so they are evenly coated.
10. Add in seasonings and stir again to coat.
11. Add the marinara sauce to the vegetable mixtures and stir. Put heat on low or simmer.
12. In a small bowl mix ricotta and 1oz of shredded mozzarella. If you’d like to add spices to the cheese mix, you can do so now.
13. When the spaghetti squash is cool enough to handle, use a fork to remove the “spaghetti”. The easiest way is to run the fork down the inside of the squash length-wise. Scoop “spaghetti” into a dish.
14. Scoop about 1/4 of the vegetable sauce mix into the bottom of your loaf pan and spread evenly.
15. Scoop in 1/3 of the spaghetti squash on top and spread evenly.
16. Scoop in 1/3 of the ricotta mix on top and spread as evenly as possible (the easiest way is to use the back of a spoon to smooth it out- it doesn’t matter much if it’s not in a completely even layer).
17. Repeat Steps 14-16 3 more times.
18. If you follow the above proportions, you will end with a layer of sauce on top.
19. Place the remaining 2oz of Mozzarella evenly on top of the final layer of sauce.
20. Sprinkle with Italian Seasoning.
21. Bake in oven for about 30 minutes or until cheese is beginning to bubble.
Makes 3 big Servings. Per serving: