Spaghetti Squash Casserole
This versatile and wholesome layered veggie and cheese casserole makes a great meatless main dish or a hearty side dish.
1 spaghetti squash
2 large carrots, julienned
2 stalks celery, julienned
1 large yellow onion, julienned
1 green or red bell pepper, julienned
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
Red pepper flakes to taste (optional)
Salt to taste
3 to 5 garlic cloves, finely minced
1/2 teaspoon dried basil leaves, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano leaves, or to taste
Ground allspice for sprinkling
3/4 pound shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- Cut squash lengthwise and place the halves skin-side down in a large baking pan with an inch of water. Cover the pan with foil and bake at 350°F (175°C) for about 45 minutes, or until tender. (See note.)
- Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a skillet and add the onion and carrot. Sauté over medium heat for 5 minutes. Add remaining vegetables, red pepper flakes and season with salt, as desired. Sauté, stirring frequently, until vegetables are nearly tender, about 7 to 10 minutes.
- Add crushed tomatoes, garlic, basil, oregano and a sprinkling of ground allspice. Simmer uncovered for 15 minutes.
- Remove squash from oven and allow to cool until you can handle it. Remove seeds with a spoon and squeeze any excess water out of meat. Remove meat and break it up into strands with a fork.
- Mix squash well with vegetables and put half in the bottom of a large, lightly greased baking dish. Top with half the cheeses, the remaining squash mixture, and remaining half of the cheeses.
- Bake in a preheated oven at 350°F (175°C) for 30 minutes or until cheese is bubbly and slightly browned. Let cool 15 to 20 minutes before serving.
Makes 6 to 8 servings.
Tip: Another option is to place the whole spaghetti squash, uncut in a large pot of water and bring to a boil. Lower heat, cover and boil gently for 50 minutes to 1 hour. Remove from water and cool until you can handle it. Cut in half and proceed with step 4.