Saturday, September 19, 2009

Baked Spaghetti Squash, Lasagna-Style

I really enjoy spaghetti squash. If you haven't tried it, it's very mild, and takes on the flavor of whatever you put on it. There are simpler, lighter ways to eat it than this that are also delicious, but this recipe is family-friendly (and the presentation is pretty cool). It's good and cheesy, and healthier than lasagna or baked ziti, though it tastes similar. If I'm going to consume vast amounts of cheese, I feel better if it's on top of a vegetable! This recipe includes a homemade sauce, but you could absolutely use your favorite pre-made spaghetti sauce for an easy, great meal.

1 spaghetti squash, halved lengthwise and seeded
olive oil
1 small onion, diced
2 T. minced garlic
1 sm. can mushrooms
1 28 oz can stewed or diced tomatoes, drained well
1 c. tomato sauce, or your favorite spaghetti sauce
1 T. dried basil
2 t. sugar
black pepper
Mozzarella cheese
Parmesan cheese

1. Preheat oven to 350. Spray sheet cake pan with cooking spray (I lined my sheet with foil first for easy clean up). Add a small amount of water into your baking dish. Place squash halves cut side down on the baking sheet. *Be careful when cutting your squash--it can be pretty tricky to cut through the hard outer shell.

2. Bake squash approx. 45-60 minutes, or until squash easily can be scraped out of the shell with a fork. Squash should be soft, not crunchy when it's done. Remove from oven, and cool.
3. Meanwhile, in a large pan, use your olive oil to saute the onion and garlic until golden. Add in mushrooms, then tomatoes, sauce, sugar, and seasonings. Bring to a boil, then simmer for at least 15 minutes until your sauce has cooked down and is not watery.
4. Remove squash pulp with a fork, placing in a bowl and reserving the shells. Layer each shell with a spoonful or so of the sauce, a layer of spaghetti squash, then cheese. Layer another layer of sauce, then squash, then sauce again, ending with a good layer of Mozzarella cheese. Sprinkle with Parmesan and basil. If your shells didn't survive baking, you can use a casserole dish.
Bake for 20 min. in preheated oven, or until cheese is melted.

Makes 8-10 adult servings.

*It would be nice to make this dish ahead of time, as it takes so long for the squash to cook and it's hard to predict when it will be done. It's challenging to time the whole thing if you like to eat at a certain time. Next time, I would just cook the squash ahead of time, pull the pulp from the sides (leaving it in the shells) and refrigerate it till I was ready. I would probably add 10-15 min. to the cooking time once I layer it with cheese and bake it again. You can also choose to freeze half of this recipe if it is too much.

1 comment:

shaina said...

Sara, spaghetti squash cooks up wonderfully in the microwave. I know what you mean about the oven time varying. Sometimes it's taken 45 minutes, sometimes 2 hours. It probably takes no more than 20 minutes if you do it in the microwave.
This recipe sounds really good!