*Photos and Recipe Updated November 2011*
Inspiration: I browse a lot of food blogs, and sometimes when I see a recipe, I know right away that I want to try it soon. This was one of those recipes. When I ran across it on My Kitchen Addiction, I immediately put it on my menu. Prior to this fall and winter season, I hadn’t eaten much winter squash before, so this year I’ve really been on the lookout for new squash recipes to try.
What we Loved: This dinner was beyond fantastic. The lasagna was hearty, meaty, cheesy, and filled to the brim with vegetables. We sat down to this supper after a long and busy Sunday afternoon, and it was so comforting. Brandon said that it reminded him a lot of baked spaghetti, but better. The squash was nice and tender, and its mellow flavor really went well with all of the other vegetables thrown in (spinach, tomatoes, mushrooms, carrots, onions, and red peppers). We used a lovely Italian sausage that added a great meaty and hearty aspect to the meal, and there were nice strings of gooey mozzarella throughout the dish. This meal is some seriously hearty comfort food that is just packed full of all kinds of good.
Helpful Hints: I mixed up a semi-complex marinara sauce for this, but you can certainly use your favorite marinara or just mix some crushed tomatoes with some butter or olive oil and seasonings. I feel like this meal could be taken in a lot of different directions, too. For instance, instead of a tomato-based sauce, I think that some sort of alfredo or white sauce sounds really great with the complementing flavors of Italian sausage and spinach. Or even a pesto sauce would be lovely.
Spaghetti Squash Lasagna
Source: Adapted from My Kitchen Addiction
*Note – this makes a very large 9 x 13 casserole.
1 large spaghetti squash
For the Sausage Layers
1 lb Italian sausage
1 onion, diced
Kosher salt and black pepper
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup frozen spinach, thawed
For the Tomato Sauce Layers
1/2 onion, finely diced
2 carrots, peeled and sliced
8 oz mushrooms, sliced
1/2 red pepper, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 sprig rosemary, minced
Kosher salt and black pepper
2 28 oz cans crushed fire-roasted tomatoes
2-3 tablespoons butter
For the Cheese Layers
6 oz mozzarella cheese, freshly grated
1 oz Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
1. Preheat the oven to 375.
2. Poke the squash all over with a fork, creating holes. Roast the squash in the oven for 1 hour. Remove the squash from the oven, and cut it in half. Allow it to cool, and then scrape out the seeds (save them to make simple roasted squash seeds!). Scrape the spaghetti squash strands into a colander, and set the colander in the sink until you’re ready to assemble the lasagna.
3. Brown the sausage in a saute pan over medium heat. When it is nearly cooked through, add the onions, and season with salt and pepper. Saute until the onions are translucent. Add the garlic and spinach, and mix to combine. Remove from the heat.
4. Meanwhile, make the tomato sauce. Heat some butter in a sauce pan. Add the onions, carrots, mushrooms, and red peppers, and saute over medium heat until the moisture released from the vegetables has evaporated and the vegetables start to get nice and browned. Add the garlic and the rosemary, and season well with salt, pepper, oregano, and Italian seasoning. Stir to combine. Add the crushed tomatoes and a few big chunks of butter. Heat through, and adjust for salt and other seasoning.
5. Assemble the lasagna. Add half of the spaghetti squash to the bottom of a 9 x 13 baking dish. Spread evenly and flatten with a spatula. Top the squash with half of the sausage mixture and then half of the tomato sauce. Cover with half of the mozzarella cheese.
6. Add the second half of the squash, sausage, and tomato sauce to the dish. Cover with the rest of the mozzarella cheese and the Parmesan cheese. Sprinkle with Italian seasoning.
7. Bake uncovered for 30 minutes. If desired, broil for 2-3 minutes, until the top is browned. Allow to rest for about 10-15 minutes before serving.