Friday, December 6, 2013

Spaghetti Squash Lasagna

Spaghetti Squash Lasagna
I had spaghetti squash for the first time last year at True Food Kitchen. Their Spaghetti Squash Casserole is a baked pasta dish, without...the pasta. The squash is slightly crunchy mimicking al dente noodles. 

What's great is you don't have to cut or grate the squash to get it this way. When it's cooked, it literally comes out as noodles. You can enjoy it as a pasta replacement.

My friend, Kelly, gave me the idea to bake my CSA winter squash with all the flavors of lasagna. Here's my version of a tasty carb-less Italian casserole:

  • 1 medium spaghetti squash  
  • 1 lb lean ground turkey I used 1.25 lb
  • EVOO
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cans (14 oz. each) of diced tomatoes, undrained 
  • Tomato paste, optional I made the mistake of draining the tomatoes, so I added in for flavor & color
  • 1 tbsp Italian seasoning I used 1/2 tbsp dried oregano & 1/2 tbsp dried basil 
  • 6 ounces ricotta cheese
  • 1 large egg I took it out when I started cooking to bring it down to room temp
  • 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded I used shredded Parmesan
  • Salt & pepper to taste
The Ingredient Spread

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Halve squash lengthwise, scoop out seeds. Place squash, cut side down, in a large baking dish or sheet pan and prick skin all over with a fork. Bake until tender, about 30 to 40 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, season & cook turkey over medium-high heat in non-stick skillet until browned, about 5 minutes. I like to bring meats as far down to room temp as time or patience allows prior to cooking. It's very important to season the meat since it's the base of your sauce.
  • When turkey is cooked, drain, remove from skillet and set aside. I just placed my cooked turkey on a plate lined with a paper towel. 
  • In same skillet, heat new oil over medium-high heat. Sautee onion and garlic until tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in diced tomatoes and Italian seasoning; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; add cooked turkey and simmer, stirring often, until desired consistency, about 5 minutes. Don't forget to season.
  • Meanwhile, mix ricotta cheese and egg together in a bowl until well incorporated. Again, season.
  • Remove squash from oven and increase oven temperature to 375 degrees. When cool (enough), using a fork, carefully rake stringy squash pulp from shell, separating it into strands that look like spaghetti. Season.
  • Now, it's time to assemble your "lasagna" in an oiled medium sized oven-safe dish 
    • Layer squash on the bottom of dish. Make sure to remove any excess liquid from the squash ahead of time.  
    • Layer ricotta cheese mixture over squash.
    • Pour tomato-turkey sauce over ricotta mixture and sprinkle with cheese. Lightly pack the layers together to get a more firm slice when done. 
  • Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and let stand 5 minutes before dividing into six servings. Feel free to sprinkle some grated Parmesan cheese or crushed red pepper flakes, too.
Fresh out of the oven
Recipe adapted from StrikingEyes00

  • Prep your ingredients ahead of time. A mis en place (French for "everything in its place") is the way to go when cooking this dish. You'll see it in the video below.
  • While you do not want to over-salt, make sure to season each component, so the flavors all come together in the end. 
Here's a quick video on how I made this dish. I do apologize for the low quality; I took it while I was cooking on my phone. I hope it helps.

What are your favorite spaghetti squash recipes? Please leave a comment below! 

No comments: