For some time I have been wanting to try spaghetti squash and use it as a substitute for pasta. Now, I know it will not taste the same as pasta but maybe it will be okay. Like so many people I have a big problem with carbs and if I can substitute cauliflower for rice and now maybe squash for pasta I might be ahead of the game and going in the right direction! Needless to say this recipe is delicious and I encourage everyone to try it as you will not be disappointed!
When I saw Loretta’s recipe and read the word “boats” I thought this recipe sounded like it could be fun to make. It would be a good place to start anyways and I should give it a try. For Loretta’s original recipe please go here @safari of the mind. She not only likes to cook but enjoys gardening and traveling which are posted throughout her blog.
I was lucky to find this squash now as it is off season and not many stores have any. I found three squash and bought 2 of them. I have “tweaked” her recipe as it is so easy to do with a recipe full of cheese, meat, sauce and of course spaghetti squash. You could easily make this vegetarian and just leave out the meat. This recipe is enough for 2 halves or 2 to 4 people.
Loretta's Spaghetti Squash Boats
First of all, cutting these veggies in half was going to be a challenge. I am very careful around knives as I do not want any accidents. Place your squash on a towel so it will not roll around, take a small knife and starting from the center score one side lengthwise, turn and score the other side. Then take a chef’s knife and once again starting in the center place the knife and press down going through as far as possible. Turn and cut through the other side until you have separated the two halves. Scoop out all of the seeds, wash and let dry on paper towels. See my recipe Pumpkin Crunch for a delicious snack using these seeds.
Place on a parchment lined baking sheet cut side down and bake for about 30 minutes to an hour in a 400°F oven depending on the size of your squash. Or you can bake them in a microwave safe dish, cover and microwave for about 8-10 minutes or until soft.
Allow the squash to cool for about 10 to 15 minutes. With a fork, remove the flesh into strands, which does look like spaghetti. Drain the spaghetti strands on paper towels and set aside.
Sauce for Lasagna Boats
- enough oil to saute the onions and garlic
- onion, chopped to taste
- 4 garlic cloves, minced or to taste
- 1 (28 oz. can) crushed tomatoes or you can buy whole tomatoes and crush them yourselves
- sausage – you can use anything you want; turkey, chicken, pork (I used Bilinski’s spinach and garlic all natural precooked chicken sausage which is 85% lower fat than pork and gluten-free – sounds kind of healthy and it was super good!)
- fresh basil and oregano to taste
- I always add a little sugar to cut the acidity of the tomatoes
- other seasonings as desired such as salt and pepper
Saute the onion for about 5 minutes, until soft but not brown; add the garlic and cook another minute. Break up the sausage into small pieces and add to the onion mixture. As I used precooked sausage I cut them into small pieces before adding. Cook until done; drain off any fat if using fresh. Add the crushed tomatoes and sugar as well. Simmer for about 30 minutes then add you fresh herbs and season to taste.
Cheese Mixture for Lasagna Boats
- 1/3 cup fresh ricotta cheese
- 4 tbsp. Parmesan, grated
- 3/4 cup fresh Mozzarella, shredded
- fresh basil and parsley to taste
Combine above ingredients and set aside.
Assembling the Lasagna Boats
Combine half of the sauce with the spaghetti strands and place an equal amount inside each squash half. Spread the cheese mixture on top of the spaghetti strands/sauce. Top with the rest of the sauce and sprinkle with lots of Parmesan cheese. Add some shredded mozzarella if you want.
Bake in a preheated 400°F oven until the boats are heated thoroughly, the cheese melts and starts to brown lightly, maybe 30 minutes.
Serve with a light green salad and a glass of your favorite wine. A Merlot, or any red wine, is a favorite with this kind of a dish.