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Spaghetti Squash Lasagna

October 1, 2009

IMG_6403This is a nice vegetarian dish – as long as cheese is okay.  The spaghetti squash is a low calorie, low carbohydrate alternative to pasta.  Spaghetti squash is quite an interesting vegetable, once cooked the meat takes on the shape of spaghetti noodles with a definite al dente consistency.  My nefarious way of getting my 3 ½ year old son to eat it was disguising it in tomato sauce and ricotta cheese in a lasagna like fashion.  The cooked squash yields close to 2 lbs and this dish could easily serve 6.

–          1 spaghetti squash

–          1 eggplant, sliced ¼ inch

–          2 portabella mushroom caps, sliced length wise into ¼ inch thick rounds

–          8 oz of mozzarella cheese, sliced in ½ inch slices

–          16 oz of skim ricotta cheese

–          4 oz of grated parmesan cheese

–          4 oz of fresh basil

–          16 oz can of whole tomatoes

–          2 tablespoons of tomato paste

–          1 medium red onion, chopped

–          4 cloves of garlic, chopped

–          1 handful of chopped thyme

–          3 teaspoons of sugar or Splenda

–          1 pinch of cinnamon

–          1 pinch of red pepper flakes

–          Olive oil

–          Salt and pepper

Start ahead of time by cooking your spaghetti squash.  Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Pierce the outside of the squash several times with a knife, place in a large casserole dish and cook for 1 hour. 

While the squash is cooking start up on your tomato sauce.  In a large sauce pan, over medium high, sweat the onions, garlic, salt and pepper in a little olive oil for about five minutes.  Next open your can of tomatoes and, over the sauce pan, hand crush the tomatoes as you pour the contents into the pan.  Add the cinnamon, sugar, red pepper and tomato paste – stir.  Raise the heat to high. When the sauce starts to rapidly bubble (boil), reduce to a simmer.  Add the chopped thyme.  Let the sauce simmer and reduce in quantity by about half, stirring occasionally.  This will take around 30 to 40 minutes.

When the squash is done cooking – this ‘melon’ is going to be hot so let it cool for about twenty minutes before handling.  Slice it in half, spoon out the seeds and dense center.  Now using a fork pull the meat away from the skin into a bowl.  It should pull apart easily and assume the spaghetti noodle shape.

For the ricotta cheese:  Rip up half of your basil and fold it into the ricotta cheese and 1 oz of the grated parmesan along with  a few glugs of olive oil. 

IMG_6386Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.  Toss your portabella mushroom caps into the tomato sauce for a about 3 minutes to part cook them in the nice sauce.   Remove and set aside.   Assemble your “lasagna” in a lightly oiled casserole dish.  Start first with a light layer of tomato sauce (1 ladle), then a layer of eggplant across the bottom (save about 6 slices), then a layer of ½ your ricotta, then some more tomato sauce (about 1/3).  Next add your layer of spaghetti squash, top with the remaining ricotta and tomato sauce (about 1/3).  Now add your mushroom slices, top with the mozzarella slices, and the remaining sauce.  Lastly add your remaining 6 slices of eggplant and top the whole dish with the remaining 3 oz of parmesan.  Bake for about 15 minutes, until the cheese is melted and browned on top.  The parmesan on top of the eggplant turns into a nice crispy treat for everyone’s serving. 

Garnish with some fresh basil and serve with some toasted baguette.


One Comment leave one →
  1. October 1, 2009 9:41 pm

    This was nothing less than AWESOME! It was delicious to eat, you feel good eating it, are completely satisfied unlike say…eating a salad for dinner which can sometimes leave you wanting to eat something else. Plus for high maintenance people like me it lasts a long time…no midnight sweet cravings which means it has a good glycemic index! This dish is just perfect.

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