Sunday, September 15, 2013

Spaghetti Squash Casserole ..

Two foods that I adore are cheese and pasta.  I think that I could eat some form of pasta seven days a week ... however, I know better.  Not sure exactly what triggered my brain to remember spaghetti squash, which I probably had not prepared in fifteen years or more, but I am so happy to have "found it" again.  This past week I made a spaghetti squash casserole.  Ingredients:  Spaghetti Squash, My Favorite Red Sauce and topped with Shredded Mozzarella Cheese .. and it was yummy !

 The hardest part of preparing spaghetti squash is cutting the squash lengthwise down the middle.  Cutting it is similar to cutting a watermelon in half, but I think a little more difficult because the flesh of the squash is quite dense, unlike the flesh of a watermelon which is definitely soft in comparison.

The tastiest way to prepare the squash is, once you have it halved (lengthwise), scoop out the seeds, rub the inner flesh with evoo, kosher salt and fresh black pepper.  Place the squash flesh side down on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil.  Bake at 350 - 425 degrees F for approximately 30 - 45 minutes, until when you touch the skin with a fork, it is soft.

After you remove it from the oven, let it cool until enough so that you can handle it.  Then the fun begins .. take either a fork or a large spoon and scrape away to remove the squash from the skin.

A few tips:

1. Make sure your red sauce is extra thick and chunky because there is a fair amount of water in the spaghetti squash.  Mix as much red sauce with the squash as you desire.

2.  If you are going to add meat to your red sauce, use the leanest ground beef, or chopped bison is even better.

3.  Don't go crazy with the cheese .. sprinkle the mozzarella sparingly on the top.

4.  Lightly oil a casserole dish, put the spaghetti squash and red sauce mixture in the casserole dish and sprinkle the mozzarella cheese on top.

5.  Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 15 - 25 minutes.  Keep in mind that all the ingredients are cooked so you only need to make sure that the casserole is heated all the way through.

6.  Make just enough for one sitting ... this dish is best if you bake it only one time.