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Spaghetti Squash Lasagna

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Are you looking at the picture above and thinking “WOW! This lasagna looks yummy”? Now, I am going to break you the news: it is not lasagna, but a much lighter and healthier dish, that still has the heartiness and comforting flavors of regular lasagna. How? Thanks to a delicious vegetable that works very well with all kinds of pasta sauces: spaghetti squash! I often use this wonderful vegetable as a substitute for pasta with the addition of any pasta sauce, especially when I want something hearty, but gluten-free and light. I am not going to lie to you and say it tastes just like lasagna noodles, because it doesn’t. It is different, but it works in a way that adds flavor and texture to any “pasta-like” dish. It is gluten-free, lower in calories and carbs if compared to regular noodles. But above it all, it tastes really really really good!!!! I used sweet Italian sausage in the sauce, with the addition of carrots, onions, tomatoes, green peppers and fresh herbs and I layered with ricotta and mozzarella – just like regular lasagna. It worked!!!  My husband was licking the plate! Replace the Italian sausage with more vegetables, if you want something meatless. All the vegetables used in this recipe were locally grown (most of them organic) and they were delivered at the convenience of my door steps by Green Bean Delivery! To get a PROMOTIONAL CODE and learn more about this great service provided by Green Bean Delivery, read my Cook’s Notes on the bottom of the recipe…  Spaghetti squash is on season now and I hope you get to try it in this dish!

Serves 4 to 6

Ingredients:

  • 1 large spaghetti squash
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound sweet Italian sausage, casing removed, meat chopped
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, cored and diced
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 large tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • 1 tablespoons fresh oregano, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves, finely chopped
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 ½ cups (15 ounces) ricotta
  • 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded mozzarella
  • ¼ cup Parmesan, shredded

Directions:

Place spaghetti squash on a working surface. Using a sharp paring knife, carefully make small slits all around the surface – it will allow the air to come out when squash is being baked, avoiding an “explosion”. Transfer spaghetti squash to a large microwave safe dish. Microwave on high for 12 to 18 minutes, or until squash is fully cooked. Remove from microwave and set aside to cool. When cool enough to handle, halve and remove seeds with a fork. Discard seeds. Using a fork, remove the squash strands (it resembles cooked spaghetti) and set aside in a bowl.

In the meantime, place olive oil in a large skillet set over medium high heat. Add sausage and cook, stirring while breaking apart with a wooden spoon, until nearly cooked 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in onion, green bell pepper, and carrots. Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are fragrant and nearly soft; 4 to 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, oregano, and rosemary. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until tomatoes are really soft and a thick sauce forms; 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from heat.

Assemblage:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Place 1 ½ cups of sauce on the bottom of a 8x11-inches ovenproof lasagna dish. Cover with half of the spaghetti squash and half of the sauce. Spread half of the ricotta and top with one cup of mozzarella. Repeat the process one more time, now finishing by sprinkling Parmesan on top.

Transfer to the middle rack of the oven. Bake, uncovered (see Cook’s Note), until cheeses melt and sauce is bubbly; 18 to 22 minutes. Turn on oven broiler and carefully move dish to top rack (5 to 6 inches away from burner) and broil until edges are browned; 3 minutes. Remove and set aside for 5 minutes before serving.

Cook’s Notes:

Do not bake this “lasagna” covered. Spaghetti squash tends to release water, so if you cover the dish you might end up with a larger accumulation of water on the bottom then you actually wanted. It is normal that a little bit of water accumulates on the bottom of the pan, but you do not want too much.

Green Bean Delivery is a very convenient service that I recently got to try. All the vegetables used in this recipe came in the basket that was delivered at my door. Besides convenience, the other great advantage of this service is that most of their vegetables and fruits are locally grown and organic. Basically, instead of you having to run around to different farmer’s markets and healthy grocery stores in the hope to get the best produce, you just place an online order through Green Bean Delivery and they will do the rest of the work for you! That simple!

Especially to my readers, Green Bean Delivery is providing an introductory PROMOTIONAL CODE for a $15 discount at their first grocery order. Just apply the code 15CWTml when you are checking out. The code is valid only for first time costumers and it will expire on September 17th! So use it now and make my Spaghetti Squash Lasagna!

To learn more about the service and to use the promotional code on your first order, click on the link: http://www.greenbeandelivery.com

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The picture above features just about less then half of what was originally in that casserole dish. Sorry about that folks, but I could not control my starving husband... He ate almost half of the casserole before the photo shoot!! But at least you have an idea of what it looks like in the baking dish :) 

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