Confession: I used to despise spaghetti squash.
And then, one night four years ago, Mike & I went to a dinner party where it was on the menu, and I didn’t want to be rude, so I ate it — and it was delicious. The same thing happened last year, only that time it was brussel sprouts, which I also now love and make all the time.
The lesson? My mother was right. Your tastebuds DO change as you get older. Who knew?!
This has been a regular dinner in our house, ever since that fateful day four years ago. Calling it lasagna is a bit of a stretch. In fact, in our house — it’s called Rigamone — which is a totally made up Italian sounding word Mike created while making fun of Giada. Whatever you want to call it, just know it’s a delicious, cheesy, Italian dinner that just so happens to be low carb, gluten free (check your ingredients!) and full of fiber and vegetables (without tasting like it!)
Here’s what you need:
1 Spaghetti Squash
1 Jar of your Favorite Pasta Sauce
1 to 2 Cups Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
1 Cup Ricotta Cheese
Salt & Pepper
Italian Seasoning (Dried Basil, Garlic Powder, Oregano, Sage, Thyme, Rosemary, etc.)
*Meat or Veggie Crumbles are optional, and a great addition if you want to add them*
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees (Some squash will have a little sticker with cooking instructions — you can follow them if you want, but I find they usually need a little more time in the oven). Split your spaghetti squash in half, lenghwise, and remove all the seeds. I use a huge knife, and take my time. Be careful, if you’ve never done it before, they can be a little hard to crack, and they’re prone to rolling around.
Drizzle about a teaspoon of olive oil onto each side, and spread it around with your fingers, or a paper towel, and then season pretty liberally with salt, pepper, and your Italian seasonings.
Flip them over onto a foil lined cookie sheet (saves cleanup time!) and make a joke about either boobs or buttcheeks. I always do. Now pop them in the oven for 45 minutes to an hour.
The squash should separate from the rind pretty easily with a just a fork. You should be able to squeeze the sides with a pair of tongs. If it’s still a little tough around the edges put in back in the oven for a few more minutes. Leave the oven on, because you’re going to need it again.
Now — if you have a lot of time on your hands, you can squeeze the cooked squash (once it’s cooled, obvs) through some cheesecloth. It’s usually pretty wet. I’m lazy, and once everything is mixed together, I don’t even notice the added liquid. Shred the squash and transfer all the strings to a large bowl. Add the pasta sauce (as much as you want, really) and stir everything together. It doesn’t look like much, but it’ll taste good, I promise.
Take half of the squash and spread it across the bottom of a casserole dish — 9×13 at the largest, I’d say.
Dollop half of your ricotta cheese around the top of that first layer of squash, and spread it around as best you can, and throw in a little of that mozzarella for good measure. Top with another layer of squash, and then another layer of ricotta/mozzarella. I usually just do two layers, but you can adjust accordingly based on the size of your dish. Top the final layer with the remaining mozzarella, and put the casserole dish back in the oven for about 20-30 minutes. Everything is already cooked, so you just want to give the cheese some time to melt. I like to finish mine under the broiler for a few minutes to get the top nice and crispy.
I used to add a bag of veggie crumbles to the sauce before I combined everything (we’re not vegetarians, we’re just lazy) — you could easily do the same with ground beef, or pork, whatever you want. I like to grill some Italian sausages while everything is back in the oven, and then just slice them and throw them on top of the casserole once it’s on the plate.