Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Spaghetti Squash Lasanga

So when I'm not going through my cookbooks to find something to try, and headed to the store to get new ingredients to experiment with, I'm trying to figure out what to do with the foods I have. Sometimes I just try to invent a dish that uses them all, but often a good google search or a search through Skinnytaste's archives can find something to try that will use them all up. Today I had a spaghetti squash that had been rattling around in my fridge since before Christmas, a half container of ricotta that needed to be used before it went off, part of a pepper, and a small bit of mushrooms. Skinnytaste came through again--with a Spaghetti squash lasagna that used only things I had on hand, and was easily modified to use the things I have.


Spaghetti squash
1 can (15 oz) diced tomatoes in Italian seasoning
1 can tomato paste
half a yellow pepper
4 oz brown mushrooms
small onion
Italian seasoning
lowfat ricotta
part skim Italian cheese mix
1 oz finely grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup frozen chopped spinach
1 head roasted garlic

The first step is to prepare the squash--if you are in a hurry, you can cook this in the microwave, but I like to roast it to get better flavor. Plus I can roast garlic at the same time! So cut the squash in half, take out the seeds, sprinkle with salt, pepper, and Italian Seasonings. I spray both sides with cooking oil and stick them in a preheated oven at 350 for about a half an hour or until fork tender. That gets set aside to cool, and remove from the skin.

 While the squash cools, I cut up an onion, the mushrooms, and peppers and saute them until they start to soften. Then I add the tomato paste and let it cook for a bit with the vegetables. After that I add the tomatoes and some water and let it simmer while I used a fork to pull the squash from the shell. I smashed some of the roasted the garlic and mixed it with the ricotta, and the rest went into the sauce. I added the spinach to the sauce, and let that cook together.

This comes together like a lasagna,  a layer of sauce, a layer of squash, a layer of ricotta, cheese, more squash, and so on. I had more squash than I thought, so made three layers, which is why the top ended up with less cheese. I should have divided it in thirds not half and fourths.

 The original recipe calls for making this in individual casseroles, but I don't have matching sets. Just odd sizes of dishes, so I put this in a 13x9 inch pan. It went into a preheated 350 degree oven covered with foil for 15 minutes and then off for 5 minutes until the cheese was melted through.

   The Verdict:

This is an amazingly hearty dish, the squash has a nice texture contrast to the sauce, and the cheese is creamy and delicious! It was very filling and hit the spot. I hope my coworker grows more spaghetti squash next year so I can make this all fall--who knows I may go buy another squash! I even got my picky eater niece to try some of the squash!

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