CBHarper Family Kitchen: Lasagna Boats

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.

Ingredients:
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

Instructions:
Preheat the oven to 400º

988_4172684Drizzle 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.

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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.

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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!

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Inspired by this recipe.