Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Spaghetti Squash Lasagna

Before I begin today's post I need to apologize for my lack of posting for a couple of weeks. Every now and again life hits you with a big bang and that's what happened to me. Three weeks ago today I was jogging down the road at 6 a.m. on my normal three-mile run. About a mile into it, I tripped on a rock and went down. The world slowed down for several minutes and I stopped breathing. I remember telling myself "breathe, breathe, breathe". Finally I did. I was hurt pretty bad. Both my hands were dripping blood, my knees hurt, my side hurt and I was in shock. Thankfully a sweet young couple pulled over and helped me up and got me home. To make a long story short, it took me some time to heal from that fall. I ended up with two bandaged hands (and it's a little hard to cook that way), bruised knees (thankfully not worse), and broken ribs. On top of that, the kids were in the middle of their end-of-the-school-year-rush, they had several injuries of their own (Hello summer), and two of us caught the stomach flu (yes I was one of them...hahaha).

BUT I'm back! And feeling much better. And I'm hoping that the drama has left us for a while.

Now on to the regular post...

I gave you a sneak peak of this recipe on my facebook page a little while back. Yes it's as good as it looks. Maybe better. We've been spaghetti squash lovers for a long time. It's a great way to get vegetables into your family's diet. Fun spaghetti noodle shaped vegetables. :) I love to eat spaghetti squash in the summer. It's so light and yummy.

The flavor of this dish is like rock-a-my-soul out of this world good. Love the cheesy-ooey-gooey-goodness. I won the fight for the leftovers the next day and oh my, they were just as good. I'm sharing this recipe now in hopes that it will inspire you to grow spaghetti squash in your garden this year. Winter Squash is one of our favorite things to grow and we love that it will store all winter in a cool basement.

What's your favorite thing to eat from or grow in the garden?


Spaghetti Squash Lasagna
Printable Recipe

*Serves 4-6

2-3 medium/small spaghetti squash
salt and fresh pepper, to taste
1/3 Cup part skim ricotta cheese
2 Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley or basil
3/4 Cup mozzarella cheese, shredded

For the sauce:
1 tsp. olive oil
1/2 onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minces
1/2 lb. Italian sausage
2 Tbsp. red quinoa
14-oz (1/2 can) crushed tomatoes
salt and fresh pepper, to taste
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh basil (or 2 tsp. dried)

Cook the Spaghetti Squash using your favorite method. Here are a few that I use a lot because they're quick:
Pressure Cooker Method: I first learned of this method on Pressure Cooking Today. It works great and I love it because it's so fast and easy. Place the spaghetti squash and 1-1/2 Cups water in the pressure cooking pot. Cook 10 minutes on high pressure. Use a quick pressure release and carefully open cooker. If squash is still firm, replace the lid and cook another minute or two until the squash is tender. Then remove squash carefully from the pressure cooker. When cool enough to handle, cut squash in half.

Microwave Method: Use a sharp knife to cut squash in half lengthwise. Place cut sides up on a microwave safe plate and cover with cling wrap. Microwave on high for 8-10 minutes or until tender. Allow to cool enough to handle before unwrapping.
While the squash is cooking, combine the ricotta cheese, Parmesan cheese and parsley in a small bowl.

In a large deep frying pan, heat oil and add onions and garlic; saute on medium-low heat for 3-4 minutes, until soft. Add the sausage and cook until browned and cooked through. When cooked, add the crushed tomatoes, red quinoa, salt and pepper to taste, and dried basil (if using). Reduce heat to low and simmer for 20-30 minutes, adding fresh basil at the very end.

Preheat oven to 400 F. When spaghetti squash is cooked and cool enough to handle, use a fork to remove flesh, which will come out in spaghetti looking strands. Reserve the shells. Drain the squash on a paper towel to soak up any excess liquid, then toss with half of the sauce. Place the spaghetti squash back into the shells and place on a baking sheet.

Top each spaghetti squash serving with 1 scoop ricotta cheese mixture, and a little mozzarella cheese.

Bake in 400 F oven for 20-30 minutes or until hot and the cheese is melted.

Recipe Source; Adapted slightly from Favorite Family Recipes

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