Spaghetti Squash Casserole

Fall harvest is full of ripe vegetables and what better way to make use of the vegetables than by preparing this dish.  Spaghetti squash is an oblong seed-bearing variety of winter squash.  When raw, the flesh is solid and similar to other raw squash but when cooked, the flesh falls away like strands of spaghetti.  Spaghetti squash can be baked, boiled or steamed, and served with sauce as pasta, or used as a vegetable base for macaroni and cheese. Spaghetti squash contains many nutrients including folic acid, potassium, vitamin A, and beta carotene. 

Serves 6
print this recipe

1 spaghetti squash
2 large carrots, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 large yellow onion, diced
1 red or green bell pepper, diced
2 tablespoons olive oil
28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
red pepper flakes
dried basil
dried oregano
ground allspice
2-5 cloves garlic, chopped
3/4 lb. mozzarella, grated
1/2 cup Parmesan, grated

Place the spaghetti squash in a large pot of water (it should float) and bring to a boil.  Lower heat, cover and boil gently for 50 minutes.  While squash is cooking, heat olive oil in a skillet and add the onion and carrot.  Sauté for 5 minutes of medium heat.  Add garlic and remaining vegetables with some red pepper flakes and a dash of salt, if desired.  Sauté, stirring frequently, until vegetables are barely tender (10 minutes).  Add crushed tomatoes, basil and oregano to taste, and a sprinkle of allspice.  Simmer uncovered for 15 minutes. 

Remove squash from pot and allow to cool until you can handle it.  If it is whole, cut in half lengthways, then remove seeds with a spoon and squeeze any excess water out of meat.  Remove meat and break up into strands with a fork.  Mix squash well with the vegetables and put half in the bottom of a large baking dish.  Top with half the cheeses, the rest of the squash, followed by the rest of the cheeses.  Bake for 30 minutes or until cheese is bubbly and slightly browned.  Let cool 15-20 minutes before serving.

The Culinary Chase’s Note:  You can also bake the squash first.  Cut it lengthwise and place the halves skin-side down in a baking dish with an inch of water.  Cover the dish with foil and bake at 180c (350f) for about 45 minutes or until meat is tender.  I used the microwave to cook the squash.  If you do this then cut the squash into quarters, cover, and microwave for about 10-15 minutes on high or until cooked through.  Another delicious way to eat spaghetti squash is to remove the meat from the shell and place on a plate, add salt and pepper, a dash of olive oil and freshly grated Parmesan cheese.  Lovely!