This time of year is the season of the squash. We typically see pumpkin, butternut and acorn – but not a whole lot of spaghetti squash recipes. One of our CBHarper Family members shared this delightful dinner recipe for lasagna boats. Great for children, vegetarian diets, carb-free and all-around food lovers. This version happens to be vegetarian, but add pancetta and you’re golden.
4-6 small spaghetti squash, halved lengthwise with seeds scooped out
splash of olive oil
1 head garlic
1 lbs. italian tofu meat crumbles (or chicken sausage for the non-vegetarian version)
1/2 sweet Vidalia onion, finely chopped
1 bay leaf
1 tsp. fresh thyme
1 tsp. fresh sage
1 tsp. fresh basil
1/2 tsp. salt and pepper (or to taste)
1 28oz. can crushed tomatoes
1 cup water
3 tbsp. butter
3 tbsp. flour
1 1/4 cup milk
1/8 tsp. nutmeg
3/4 cup provolone shredded cheese (fontina cheese also works well)
1 cup mozzarella shredded cheese
Preheat the oven to 400º
Drizzle olive oil, plus add salt and pepper all over the cut side of both squash halves. On a baking sheet place sliced squash cut-side down. Slice the top of garlic head and also place on baking sheet next to squash. Bake for about 30-45 minutes or until squash is tender.
Remove both items from oven.
Squeeze the roasted garlic from its husk into a bowl and set aside.
Scrape inside of squash with fork until it breaks down into noodle-like strands.
Reduce the oven to 350º
While the squash bakes it’s time to prepare your sauce. In large skillet, heat roughly 1 tablespoon of olive oil (you can add the pancetta at this time or opt for just the veggies.) Addthe onion, bay leaf, thyme and sage – cook stirring gently until onions are softened, about 5 minutes. Push the onion herb mixture to one side of the pan.
Add a splash more olive oil to the center of the pan and add in the tofu crumbles (or meat). Heat until browned about 3 minutes.
Add tomatoes, basil and water, then combine everything while stirring. Reduce to simmer about 15-20 minutes. Once sauce has thickened a bit remove bay leaf. Salt and pepper to taste.
Stir in mashed roasted garlic.
In medium sauce pan, we will make a bechamel sauce. Melt butter over medium heat and whisk in flour, blend constantly for 1 minute. Should form a thick but smooth paste. Slowly add in milk, continue whisking throughout. Simmer for 2 minutes.
Remove from heat and stir in provolone, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Let cool but stir occasionally.
Assembling the boats is next. Layer the squash strands with the tomato (meat) sauce, cheese sauce and top with shredded mozzarella.
Bake for 20-30 minutes at 350º or until cheese is melting and slightly browned. Garnish with basil and enjoy!
Inspired by this recipe.