April 4, 2012

Baked Spaghetti Squash Gratin

Yum


I'm not good with New Year's resolutions.  Not good at all.  So, I don't make them.  Therefore, I declared (not resolved) to try to eat healthier this year.  Well, it's not going so great {case(s) in point ... these German chocolate cupcakes, this spring cupcake bar, and this white chocolate popcorn}.  Oh, how I love my sweets.

One positive step toward my healthier eating goal was this Baked Spaghetti Squash Gratin.  Until now, I had never cooked spaghetti squash.  I love squash ... all varieties ... so I'm not sure why I hadn't worked with spaghetti squash before.  But, I have now!  And I'm so looking forward to giving more spaghetti squash recipes a whirl.  So many possibilities!

To whip up this spaghetti squash dish, start by baking up your spaghetti squash.  Run a fork through the squash flesh to create your "spaghetti" ... the strands really do look like spaghetti noodles!

Simmer up a slightly-spicy tomato sauce ...

... and pour it over the spaghetti squash "noodles."

Top the sauce with a mixture of ricotta cheese, Parmesan, and oregano to form the 'gratin' part of the dish.  (I think I could eat up the 'gratin part' all by itself straight from a spoon!  It's so yum.)


Bake it up all up until bubbly and lightly golden-browned.

Then dig on in!  I'm happy to say this dish won the hubby seal-of-approval ... he loved it.  My only {very minor} issue was there was a bit of watery-ness from the squash in the bottom of the dish after baking.  I think when working with spaghetti squash in the future, I may place my 'noodles' in a colander for a few minutes to drain before placing them in my baking dish.



After this tasty dinner dish, spaghetti squash will definitely be appearing again and again in my cooking line-up.  Any dishes and tips from experienced spaghetti squash cookers are welcome!  Please leave me a comment ... would love to hear your favorites.



Baked Spaghetti Squash Gratin
Source:  Adapted from Cooking Light magazine
(Printable recipe)
Ingredients
1 (4 lb.) spaghetti squash

Sauce:
1 T. olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
1/8 tsp. crushed red pepper
2 (28 oz.) cans whole tomatoes, drained and coarsely chopped
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. dried thyme

Gratin Topping:
1 (15 oz.) container part-skim ricotta cheese
1/2 c. freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. dried thyme
1/2 tsp. salt


Directions
For the Squash:
1.  Pierce squash several times with a fork and place on a baking sheet.  Bake at 400 degrees for about 1 1/2 hours, or until tender.  Cool.

2.  Cut squash in half lengthwise and scrape out seeds.  Use a fork to scrape the inside flesh of the squash into spaghetti-like strands.  You should end up with about 6 cups of strands.

For the Sauce:
3.  Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Add garlic and cook for about 2 minutes, stirring frequently.  Add salt, black pepper, crushed red pepper, tomatoes, oregano, and thyme.  Bring to a boil.  Then reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes, or until thickened, stirring occasionally.

For the Gratin Topping:
4.  Place all gratin topping ingredients in a mixing bowl; stir to combine.

For Assembly and Baking:
5.  Place spaghetti squash 'noodles' in a baking dish sprayed with cooking spray.  Pour sauce evenly over squash.  Place cheese mixture on top of sauce and spread it with the back of a spoon to evenly cover the sauce.

6. Bake at 400 degrees for 40 to 45 minutes, or until heated through, bubbly, and lightly browned.

Enjoy!

8 comments:

  1. I'm loving all of the different parts of this dish!

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  2. I love spaghetti squash. I'm glad you gave it a try and liked it. This looks like a great way to prepare it. I love the gratin topping. Mmmmm.

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  3. This recipe looks delicious! We hope you'll be back to our "Strut Your Stuff Saturday". We loved having you! -The Sisters

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  4. Oh my! Just pinned this. Seriously, you should have a cookbook...with lots of gorgeous pictures in in! Thank you for sharing with us at Inspiration Friday.

    Heather

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  5. I've made spaghetti with this squash before but never a casserole. I love working with it. Please share this recipe on my foodie friday linky today.

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  6. 2 (28 oz) cans of tomatoes? or did you mean 28 ounces total?

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    Replies
    1. 2 cans, 28 ounces each ... it's the cans of whole tomatoes, so they're the big cans. Enjoy!

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  7. how many servings?

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