A traditional Italian dish?
While we commonly associate lasagna as an Italian meal, the actual origin of this dish is a topic of debate. The word lasagna comes from “laganon” – a Greek word which describes layers of pasta and sauce, and gives reason to believe that lasagna could originally be from Greece. There are also claims of a lasagna recipe dating back to the 1390’s in a British cookbook. Despite it’s beginnings, the traditional variation of this recipe that is popular today came to fruition in Bologna, Italy.
Lasagna is the ultimate comfort food
Who doesn’t love a pasta, tomato sauce, meat and cheese combo! This recipe subs spaghetti squash for pasta, turning this delicious classic into a high-veggie version that you can enjoy often.
Despite it’s name, don’t expect spaghetti squash to taste just like pasta. When this vegetable is cooked, the inside peels off in strands in a way that resembles noodles! It’s a really fun alternative to pasta, low-carb, full of nutrients, and has a mild taste that allows for endless meal opportunities.
Don’t fear the squash!
Spaghetti squash may be an intimidating vegetable if you’ve never cooked it before, but once you try it, you’ll find it’s super easy and opens up a world of low-carb dinner options! I’ve found the most difficult barrier in cooking spaghetti squash to be cutting the vegetable in half. The best tip to make this process easier is to poke some holes in the squash, and then microwave it to soften the vegetable which makes it much easier to cut in half. If you’re really struggling, you can also roast the spaghetti squash whole – just be mindful that this will take a longer time!
Now that you’re prepped to master cooking spaghetti squash, try this lasagna variation and you’ll be hooked on experimenting with this versatile vegetable!
Spaghetti Squash Lasagna
- Sharp knife
- Cutting board
- Foil or parchment paper
- Medium skillet
- Wooden spoon
- Large baking dish
- 2 medium spaghetti squash halved and seeds removed
- 3 tsp olive oil
- 1 head of garlic about 6-12 cloves
- 1 lb ground pork, chicken sausage, or ground chicken loose, not in casing (can sub black beans for veg)
- 1 yellow onion chopped
- 1 28oz can crushed San Marzano tomatoes
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 tsp dried oregano
- 1/2 cup whole milk ricotta cheese
- 1 1/2 cups shredded cheese mozzarella, fontina, parmesan, provolone, monterey, or a blend
- salt and black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F
- With a fork poke holes in the squash and then cook in the microwave on plate for 3-5 minutes, depending on size. Then use a sharp knife to cut the ends of the squash and then cut in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds and discard (or roast separately with spices). Rub the squash with 2 tsp of oil, salt and pepper. Place the squash cut side down and place on a baking dish. Roast in the oven for about 30 minutes or until the flesh is soft and golden.
- Slice off the top 1/4 inch portion of the garlic to expose some of the garlic. Place in foil and drizzle with oil. Transfer to the oven and roast until cloves are browned and tender, about 20-30 minutes. Pop cloves out the head, chop them, and set aside.
- Meanwhile, warm 1 tsp of oil in a medium skillet. Add the sausage and cook until browned, about 5 minutes. Add the onion and cook another 2 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and add the tomatoes, bay leaf and oregano. Simmer the sauce until thickened, another 10 minutes. Remove the bay leaf and stir in the roasted garlic.
- Remove the squash from the oven. Sprinkle some cheese in the cavities, then add about 1 cup of meat sauce to each cavity. Then add the ricotta cheese evenly on top. And lastly, add the rest of the cheese evenly on top.
- Reduce heat to 400 degrees F, bake for another 8 minutes, and then broil for 1-2 minutes, or until the cheese is golden brown.
- To eat, use a fork to scrape the squash into strands, while mixing in the meat, sauce and cheese.
*Recipe adapted from the Half Baked Harvest Blog
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