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Baked Spaghetti Squash

When you are in the mood for Italian, but don’t want all of the calories of pasta, turn to spaghetti squash for your answer! This gluten free and one pan dish is easy and so tasty. The recipe makes 1 whole 9×11 pan of spaghetti squash “lasagna”.

Ingredients:
1 large size spaghetti squash (or 2 smaller ones)
15 ounces of ricotta
1 medium size fresh mozzarella
1 container of spinach
1 clove of garlic
1 cup tomato sauce (fresh or jarred)
Extra Virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper

Instructions:
Preheat the oven to bake at 400 degrees. Slice the spaghetti squash in half lengthwise and drizzle with olive oil. Lightly coat a 9×11 Pyrex or aluminum pan with olive oil and place the squash cut side down on the pan. Bake in the oven for 50 minutes.

While the squash is baking, combine the ricotta, egg, spinach, minced garlic clove, 1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon pepper in a large mixing bowl. Also, slice the fresh mozzarella into 1/4 inch slices.

Remove the squash from the oven and let sit for 10-20 minute or until cool enough to work with. Do not allow to cool too much because then the cheese will not incorporate well.

Once cool enough to work with, use a fork to scrape the spaghetti squash from its shell. Make sure to do this gently and add it to the large mixing bowl. Toss the squash with the mixture and transfer back into the 9×11 pan. Top with a small coating of sauce. For the sauce I have used a few options. One is a basic canned sauce that was basil and garlic flavored. If you chose to use this sauce then make sure you do not use the garlic clove in the ricotta mixture. Another option is to make a homemade sauce, my recipe is on its way! Or just use a plain tomato sauce and keep the garlic in the ricotta mixture. After you have coated the top with sauce, cover with the fresh mozzarella slices. If there are parts that are not completely covered, don’t worry. The mozzarella will melt and expand and cover the entire dish when heated.

Bake again at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until the mozzarella begins to brown and bubble on top.

This recipe was requested by my good friend Marissa, who tried it at my apartment a few months ago. It was a great meal for our study session and I have been making it often since then because it is so easy and delicious. It is also a fantastic way to incorporate veggies into a meal and still get a hearty dish. Make sure you make a little extra because it freezes very well as individual servings wrapped in aluminum foil to make an easy lunch or dinner when you don’t have time to cook.

Follow your tummy…
-Jess

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