Spaghetti Squash Boats
- February 24, 2023
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Spaghetti Squash Boats are a wonderful way to substitute out the carbs in lasagna and replace it with yummy spaghetti squash. Here’s to keeping it healthy!
We’ve got all the components of lasagna here: meat sauce, bechamel sauce and pasta (sort of). It’s all a bit healthier as we’re using Italian chicken sausage vs pork or beef. We’re making a bechamel from milk, ricotta, fontina and provolone cheeses. We’re using spaghetti squash in the place of lasagna noodles. All of these little healthy riffs adds up to one very hearty, healthy main course!
Begin by slicing a head of garlic through the equator and roasting it with a little olive oil until the garlic cloves are tender and light brown. Squeeze the garlic into a bowl and mash with a fork.
To make the sauce, brown the chicken sausage and add chopped onions. Once cooked for a few minutes, add tomatoes, water and herbs. Simmer for about 15 minutes, remove the bay leaf and add in the mashed garlic.
Meanwhile, microwave the spaghetti squash to soften it. Once slightly cooled, scoop out the seeds.
Make the bechamel sauce by combining milk, ricotta cheese, nutmeg and basil. Stir in fontina and provolone cheeses.
Place the spaghetti squash halves in a baking dish and sprinkle fontina cheese into the bottom of each squash and then add the meat sauce. Spoon some of the milk/cheese sauce over and top with extra provolone cheese.
Bake the foil-covered squash for 20 minutes, remove foil and continue to bake for another 15 to 20 minutes until the squash is tender and the cheese on top is golden.
Let the squash sit for 5 minutes and the use a fork to scrape the squash into strands, mixing the meat sauce and cheese with the squash.
Top with fresh thyme or sage.
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Spaghetti Squash Boats
Makes: 6 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 55 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour & 10 minutes
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
- 1 head garlic
- 3/4 pound ground mild or spicy Italian chicken sausage or ground chicken
- 1 small yellow onion, chopped
- 1 can (28 ounce) crushed San Marzano tomatoes
- 1 dried bay leaf
- 2 tsp dried oregano
- 2 medium spaghetti squash, halved and seeds removed
- 1/2 cup whole milk or heavy cream
- 1/4 cup whole milk ricotta cheese
- 1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped
- 1/8 tsp grated fresh nutmeg
- 1 & 1/2 cups shredded fontina cheese or mozzarella cheese
- 1 cup shredded provolone cheese
- Kosher salt and black pepper
- Fresh thyme and or fried sage leaves, for serving (optional)
Preheat the oven to 425°F. Slice off the top portion of the garlic head to expose some of the cloves. Place the garlic on a piece of foil. Drizzle lightly with olive oil and wrap in foil. Transfer to the oven and roast until cloves are lightly browned and tender, about 20 minutes. Let cool, then squeeze the garlic out into a bowl. Mash the cloves with a fork.
To make the meat sauce, heat the olive oil in a large pot over high heat. When the oil shimmers, add the chicken sausage and brown all over, about 5 to 8 minutes. Add onion and cook another 2 minutes. Reduce the heat to low, add the tomatoes, 1 cup water, the bay leaf, oregano, and a pinch each of salt and pepper. Simmer for 15 minutes or until the sauce thickens slightly. Remove the bay leaf, stir in the roasted garlic. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.
Meanwhile, poke a few holes into the squash with a fork and place on a plate. Microwave 3 minutes. Let cool slightly, then cut in half lengthwise, scoop out the seeds and discard.
In a medium bowl, mix together the milk, ricotta cheese, nutmeg, and basil. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in 1 cup fontina cheese and 1/2 cup provolone cheese.
Place the squash in a baking dish and season the cut sides with salt and pepper. Sprinkle the remaining fontina cheese into the bottom of each squash, then evenly divide meat sauce among the squash cavities. Now spoon the milk/cheese mix over the meat sauce. Top with the remaining provolone cheese. Cover the squash loosely with foil.
Transfer to the oven and bake 20 minutes. Remove the foil and continue baking another 15-20 minutes or until the squash is tender and the cheese is golden brown on top. The squash will seem a little soupy, this is OK.
Let the squash sit 5 minutes, then use a fork to scrape the squash into strands, mixing the meat and cheese with the squash. Serve topped with thyme and sage.
If you don’t own a microwave, simply slice the squash in half, scrape out the seeds and place cut side down on a baking sheet. Pre-roast your squash for 15 minutes to start the cooking process, then continue the recipe as directed.
Recipe from Half Baked Harvest