Wednesday, October 5, 2011

No Pasta Lasagna

There are times that you really need a good pasta dish using penne or gemelli noodles that lock in the sauce and taste so good, but then there are other times that spaghetti squash can be a more than perfect star of any intended pasta meal. I recently saw this post from Skinnytaste and really wanted to try her version of a lasagna without noodles. My girlfriends and I have our next cooking night coming up and we are planning to create a "filling buffet" for individual lasanga dishes, personally tailored to all of our unique tastes. This is a version I was looking at and I thought I would test out before then.

I took Gina's version and adapted it just a bit, making my own tomato sauce and adding spinach. If you have a jarred sauce favorite, this will be even easier to make. Though if you have an additional five minutes to spare, I've included a quick and easy tomato sauce for you to whip up. I used a small baking dish, perfect for two servings or four smaller "side dish" servings.

Grocery List:
  • Spaghetti squash, roasted, halved and "stranded" (the act of combing out the strands with a fork!)
  • 1 can tomato sauce
  • 1 tsp. olive oil
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4-ish cup of onions (optional depending on your tastes, onion powder could also be a good substitute if you don't like consuming them but want the flavor they can bring)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp. fresh basil
  • Parsley and Oregano to taste (I would guestimate using at least 1/4 tsp. of each)
  • 3-4 dollops of Ricotta cheese
  • 3 pinches of mozzarella (roughly 1/4 cup)
  • Parmigiano Reggiano
  • Fresh baby spinach leaves, diced
First thing first, make sure you get your spaghetti squash prepped - that is the longest part of the process, though it is maybe 15 minutes tops. You can do this in the oven or speed it up in the microwave. Click here for directions for help. 

For the sauce, in a small sauce pan, add the olive oil and saute your onions until translucent, then add the garlic and cook on a low-medium heat until nice and fragrant.

Add the tomato sauce, stirring in the basil, salt and pepper, parsley and oregano. If you want to thicken your sauce, you can always add a little tomato paste but I didn't have any on hand.

Taking a baker, pour about 1/4 cups worth of your sauce on the bottom, add the strands from 1/2 of the spaghetti squash.

Top with ricotta, then spinach...

...mozzarella and the parm.

Bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes and serve with a nice big salad. This was a great pasta alternative that won't disappoint!

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