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Baked Spaghetti Squash

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I know that substituting spaghetti squash for spaghetti is a healthy thing to do, but I find that it often comes out too watery. Also, um, I like spaghetti. Although recently when I saw a nice squash at the market it occurred to me that my kid might enjoy seeing the squash transform into ‘spaghetti’.

Turns out I was right! The scraping part was fascinating my kid and resulted in the added bonus of him trying some pieces along the way. Score 1 for spaghetti squash as a pasta substitute!

Oh, and my mom gave me this hot tip: drain the spaghetti squash in a colander while you are prepping the rest of the ingredients. It makes for a far less watery end result. Baking it also helped absorb some of the juices and the baked ‘pasta’ was delicious. Now for the recipe…

Baked Spaghetti Squash Recipe

Prep Time: 15 mins  Cooking Time: 45 mins to 1 hour

1/2 pound ground turkey or chicken (optional)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large spaghetti squash
1 egg
2 cups good sauce (we use Roa’s)
1 cup part skim ricotta cheese
1 1/2 cups part skim shredded mozzarella cheese
1 teaspoon fresh oregano
5 fresh basil leaves, torn
salt & fresh ground pepper
4 10 oz ramekins

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Poke the spaghetti squash 10 times and microwave for 10 to 12 minutes stopping every 3 to 4 minutes to turn. You’ll know it’s done when the skin starts to buckle. Remove and split open. While it’s cooling off heat a non-stick pan over medium high heat for 3 or 4 minutes. Add oil to the pan and blot the turkey meat dry before adding to the pan. Space the meat out in the pan and cook until it is just brown on both sides. As long as it is browned, it can be a little under cooked. It will cook the rest of the way in the oven. Set aside and begin scraping out your squash with a fork. Transfer scraped squash into a colander and let drain while you are prepping the rest of the ingredients. In a large bowl, mix together sauce, ricotta, egg, 1 cup of cheese, oregano, basil and salt & pepper to taste. Mix in the drained spaghetti squash until it’s all well combined. Place one scoop of squash mixture in each ramekin covering the bottom. Layer browned meat on top of squash mixture and then place another scoop of squash on top of the meat. Sprinkle remaining cheese on top of each and place on a cookie sheet. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly and squash looks set. Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes before serving.

PS: If you don’t have ramekins, you can make it in a pie pan as you would a spaghetti pie.

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