In a Shell: Spaghetti Squash Lasagna Style

Lasagna cooked in
squash shell.
The idea for this “lasagna” came from an online recipe that layered cooked spaghetti squash with tomatoes and cheese, using the shell of the squash as the baking container. Thought it looked intriguing so I adapted it using leftover meat & tomato sauce combined with cottage and mozzarella cheese that I layered with the cooked spaghetti squash. Since squash vary in size, I am providing a general guide rather than specifics in the recipe that follows. For us, this was a ‘double batch” recipe and while I used one of the squash shells for last night’s recipe, I layered the second half in a baking dish for freezing.  

After recently receiving three spaghetti squash, I began a quest to find the best cooking method and promised in my first post to eventually provide the results of my findings. Here they are . . .
Method: Squash was pricked and baked whole in the oven for an hour.
Advantages: Squash was ready to bake in a matter of minutes and the baked shell was easy to cut through. Taste and texture were fine. Cooked squash was acceptable.
Disadvantages: Seeds were difficult to remove as they mixed in with the cooked strands of squash.

Method: Squash was pricked and baked whole in the slow cooker all day.
Advantages: Squash was ready for the slow cooker in a matter of minutes. No further tending was needed as the squash cooked throughout the day.
Disadvantages: Seeds were difficult to remove as they mixed in with the cooked strands of squash. Color of all-day cooked squash was darker than that in recipe #1 and there was a hint of an over-cooked taste.

Recipe #3: Spaghetti Squash Lasagna Style (recipe follows)
Method: Squash was cut in half, seeds removed and then halves were baked about  35 minutes (or until squash strands can easily be removed with a fork) in a 400° oven; add a little water to the tray (it steams and tenderizes the squash). In our estimation, this was the BEST COOKING METHOD!
Advantages: Easy to scoop out the seeds before baking and it was the only method that yielded seed-free cooked “spaghetti”. Short cooking yielded the BEST flavor and texture!
Disadvantages: Squash preparation took longer than other two methods and it was somewhat difficult to cut through the shell of the uncooked squash.

Spaghetti Squash Lasagna Style   4 servings
1 spaghetti squash
1½ to 2 cups meaty spaghetti sauce (I made a double batch when preparing the sauce for Saucy Spaghetti Squash)
1 to 1½ cups cottage cheese mixed with 1 egg
About 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

1.  Preheat oven to 400°. Spray a baking sheet with a thin layer of cooking spray.
2.  Cut squash in half lengthwise. Scoop out seeds and fibrous strands surrounding seeds.
3.  Place squash halves cut side down on the baking sheet and add a little water to the tray (helps to steam and tenderize squash). Bake 35 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a knife can be easily inserted. Remove from oven, and cool.
4.  Use the tines of a kitchen fork to gently scrap out the “spaghetti”.  Press out excess liquid. Save the empty shells to use as baking dishes.
5.   Layer each shell with; squash, meat sauce, cottage cheese and egg mixture; mozzarella cheese; repeat.
6.  Bake for 20 to 30 minutes in a 350° oven. 

Click here for info about Spaghetti Squash Buying & Storage

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