Spaghetti Squash Lasagna

Okay, where did the weekend go?

I swear like 5 minutes ago it was Friday and I was holding a cocktail, and now suddenly it’s Sunday night and I’m folding laundry and willing the vacuum to gather its cords and wheel itself back into the closet.

But at least there was lasagna! Really, really good lasagna, I might add.

You see, this isn’t your traditional layered pasta dish. It’s secretly filled with… wait for it… squash! Two kinds of squash! And I’d be willing to bet if you made this for your picky eater, they’d ask for seconds. Oh yea, it’s THAT good.
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You’ll notice this recipe doesn’t call for ricotta or egg or cottage cheese, because while all those things are delicious, there not going to help you keep that resolution to fit back into your wedding dress, skinny jeans, or Letterman’s jacket #sadbuttrue So we’re going to do the healthy thing and swap out the cheese for spaghetti squash! Same moisture content but a fraction of the fat. Total win!
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Bonus: Go vegetarian and replace the sausage with mushrooms. NOMS.

Spaghetti Squash Lasagna

(FTY Original – Makes an 8×8 pan)

Sauce:
5 links mild Italian sausage, uncased
1 small yellow onion, finely diced
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
1 teaspoon Herbes de Provence (optional, but amazing!)
salt and freshly cracked pepper to taste
1 16oz jar butternut squash pasta sauce (found at Fresh & Easy)
1 can Campbell’s Harvest Orange Tomato condensed soup
1 cup low sodium chicken broth

1 medium spaghetti squash (3lbs or so)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 box lasagna noodles, broken according to pan dimensions
8oz mozzarella, shredded
4oz fontina, shredded

Heat the oven to 350F and using a sharp paring knife or metal skewer, pierce the spaghetti squash all over.
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I’ve found spacing each prick about 2 inches from one another provides enough holes for the steam to escape, but not so much that all the liquid escapes. Place in a rimmed baking dish and bake for 90 minutes, flipping half-way. Set aside until cool enough to handle.
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In a medium sized, heavy bottomed sauce pan, heat olive oil over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add in sausage and, using a spoon to break down into small chunks, cook until no longer pink. IMG_0598
Drain the sausage of excess oil, turn the heat to medium and add onion, garlic, salt, pepper, Herbes de Provence, and lightly brown the meat.
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Add pasta sauce, tomato soup, and chicken broth to the sauce pan. Stir to combine and simmer over low for 30 minutes. If you can make the sauce ahead, do so. The flavors meld after a 24-hour nap :)
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Once your spaghetti squash has cooled enough to be handled, use a sharp knife and CAREFULLY cut it in half, lengthwise.
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Remove the seeds and pull the strands from the rind. Fluff and set aside.
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An assembly line works best for this next step, so grab your hubby or munchkin and put them to work!
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First into the pan goes some sauce…
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Then a layer of noodles, followed by a third of the cheese…
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Next up, a third of the spaghetti squash!
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Then another layer of sauce…
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Rinse and repeat until you have three whole layers of sauce-pasta-cheese-squash, but whatever you do, end on a cheese. Wanna see how I did mine? To the schematic!
cheese
pasta
sauce
squash
cheese
pasta
sauce
squash
cheese
pasta
sauce
squash
cheese
pasta
sauce

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Cover with foil and bake at 350F for 60 minutes. Remove foil for the last 15 minutes of baking to brown the cheese.
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Let rest for 15 minutes before serving. Enjoy!
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Macaroni and Cheese Skillet Bake

Yum!

 

Seriously, is there anything more delicious than a big bowl of cheesy noodles? Other than a massive boozy concoction, I can think of nothing I’d rather stuff in my face.

Oh, right. A big bowl of cheesy noodles topped with MORE CHEESE and PANKO. Yum, twice.

Jessica tipped me off to this recipe and though I adapted it to our tastes, she gets ALL the credit for these yummies :)

Macaroni and Cheese Skillet Bake

(serves 4-6)

1 pound pasta (we used rigatoni)
1 shallot, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon olive oil
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup AP flour
2 cups whole milk
1/3 cup freshly grated mozzarella cheese
8 ounces freshly grated gruyere cheese
8 ounces freshly grated sharp cheddar cheese
8 ounces freshly grated fontina cheese
salt & pepper
1/3 cup panko bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 375F. Grate cheeses and toss them together in a large bowl. Boil water and prepare pasta according to directions, cooking for 3-4 minutes less than called-for time.

Heat a large oven-safe skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add in olive oil and butter, then throw in shallots with a pinch of salt. Stir to coat and cook for 2-3 minutes, until soft. Add in garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add flour to the skillet then whisk constantly to create a roux. Let cook for 2-3 minutes until golden brown. Pour in milk, stirring continuously for another 1-2 minutes. Add in most of the grated cheeses, reserving about 1 cup of grated cheese for topping. Stir continuously until mixture thickens, about 3-4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, then taste and season more if desired. Add pasta to the skillet and toss thoroughly to coat.

Sprinkle the top of the mixture with remaining cheese, then breadcrumbs. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until top is golden brown and bubbly.

Enjoy immediately!

GamerGirl

Spicy Avocado Pasta

I’m about to rock your world.

No, really. I am. You see, avocados aren’t just for guac and sandwiches anymore. Oh no, they’re popping up in unexpected places.

Like your pasta.┬áPASTA! Ha, bet you weren’t expecting that, eh?

After you get over the gross factor (it took me some time too, I won’t judge you), promise me you’ll make this. It’s quickly become my favorite pasta dish and is my go-to weekend lunch :) I swear you’ll love it too!

Avocado Pasta

(adapted from TwoPeasAndTheirPod)

2 servings of pasta (your choice – we used fettuccine)
1 ripe avocado meat, smashed
1 garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon lime juice
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Cook pasta as directed on box. Before draining, reserve 1/4 cup of the pasta water and return to pasta pot. Add into the pot the avocado meat, garlic, and red pepper flakes. Season with salt to taste and serve, adding more red pepper flakes as desired.

GamerGirl