With the recent fall equinox, it’s officially time for us all to admit that summer is coming to an end. With colder temperatures already creeping into the forecast, it’s important to have some delicious comfort food ready for those cold nights! Luckily, our garden has continued to produce some delicious winter squash late into the season. We’ve had some beautiful spaghetti squash that are finally ready for harvest!
Spaghetti squash is a truly unique vegetable. Not only is it phenomenally flavorful on its own, but it’s a healthy and delicious substitute when looking for a way to switch up your pasta dishes! When baked, spaghetti squash naturally shreds apart into thin strands, mimicking spaghetti (hence the name)! Its versatile flavor makes it a great pairing with your traditional bolognese, pesto or alfredo. Beyond pasta, spaghetti squash is also a great source of fiber, and works as a fantastic filler for any dish.
Relatively speaking, cooking with spaghetti squash always begins with the first step of baking the squash on its own. Baking spaghetti squash is simple and universal. Once cooked, just shred and prepare in any way you prefer! For this week’s dish, we’ve substituted spaghetti squash for noodles in one of the most classic cold weather comfort foods: lasagna! Aside from the squash, we were able to harvest some fresh basil, tomatoes and onion from the garden to use in this dish as well to bring some bright, summer flavors.
For the Squash:
To cook the spaghetti squash, cut in half lengthwise. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place cut side down on a baking sheet and cook at 425 degrees for 40 minutes, or until tender when pierced with a fork. Set aside for later.
For the tomato sauce:
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes – sliced in half
- ½ small yellow onion – diced
- 1 garlic clove – minced
- ½ tablespoon dried oregano
- 2 tablespoons freshly chopped basil
Over medium heat, saute onion until translucent and garlic until fragrant (about 2 minutes). Add sliced tomatoes and cook until soft. Add seasoning, reduce heat to low, and let simmer for about 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Set aside for later use.
With it being the end of the season, tomatoes are somewhat scarce. I had just enough for a top layer of homemade sauce, and supplemented with my favorite jarred tomato sauce for the internal layers of the lasagna.
For the ricotta:
- One 8 ounce container of ricotta
- ¼ of fresh basil – roughly chopped
- About 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil
- Salt & pepper to taste
Combine ingredients in a bowl, set aside for later.
For the Lasagna:
With a fork, shred the flesh of cooked squash. In an oven safe baking dish, layer the sauce, spaghetti squash and ricotta until used up. For an 8 x 8 pan, I used one half of my cooked squash. For this recipe, I topped off my lasagna with the homemade sauce, and used canned sauce for the internal layers as stated before! Bake in a 425 degree oven for 20 minutes, until edges start to bubble. Let rest for 10-15 minutes after baking, and enjoy!