Sunday, October 17, 2010

Spaghetti Squash and Veggie Bake

I threw together a casserole-ish meal today before church, so all we had to do to get ready for our weekly Family Meal was throw it in the oven when we got home and wait for guests to bring the breads and dessert!  Quite the life, I tell you.  Plus, after dinner there was only one pan to wash.  (Well, two, because I made a pot of pasta as well.)  This looked alarmingly soupy when it came out of the oven, so much so that I made pasta so I could pretend that the entree was ACTUALLY a really big baked pan of sauce.  It solidified again after 5 or 10 minutes, making the pasta irrelevant for everyone except the kids, and everyone really enjoyed it.  Definitely a make-again!

As always, amounts are up to you, but I'm going to list what I did.  I had an "empty the fridge"type of vibe going on, so play around!  I had a large (Costco-sized) open bottle of sauce to use up too- if you'd rather make your own, that's great!  Diced tomatoes or canned tomatoes would be a really great substitute too, and not so soupy.  Just add them at the end of the saute process to the other vegetables, and skip everything that refers to the sauce.

1 spaghetti squash

1 large jar spaghetti sauce
white vinegar (optional)

1 onion, diced
4 cloves garlic,chopped
1 ear of corn, cut off the cob
1 1/2 cups thinly sliced carrot rounds
a pinch of red pepper flakes
ground black pepper

4 cups grated mozzarella cheese

To prepare the spaghetti squash, cut in half and scoop out seeds. Rub the flesh with olive oil and place cut-side-down on a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet.  Bake at 350 for 30-60 minutes until a sharp knife easily pierces the skin and flesh.  Set aside until cool enough to handle.

Heat spaghetti sauce (if using) over low heat.  Add white vinegar a tablespoon at a time if sauce is too sweet for your liking, until it tastes the way you want it to.

Heat a few tablespoons of oil in a large skillet, and saute the onion and carrots until softened, then add the remaining ingredients and finish sauteeing.

In a large casserole pan (I used a dutch oven) spread a bit of sauce, half the spaghetti squash (scrape out of shell with a fork), and half the veggie mixture.  Top generously with shredded mozzarella, then repeat the four layers.  You can refrigerate this until you're ready to cook, which I recommend doing as it helps the flavors meld together.

Bake covered at 350 until hot and bubbly, then remove lid and let it brown a bit.  I let mine bake about an hour, straight from the fridge, and left it uncovered for an additional 20 minutes or so.  But mine was so saucy, there was no danger of it over-browning.

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