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Author Notes: A comforting and kid-friendly (hidden vegetable) casserole that reheats well, if there's any leftover. Filling but good with some roasted broccoli or a dinner salad on the side.
The ground meat can vary depending on your taste or dietary needs. I do increase the olive oil to 2 TB and find no need to drain if using lean ground turkey.
Make ahead: It works best if fully baked and cooled, then frozen. Take out of the freezer and bake for about 1 hour at 350 degrees, until bubbly and mozzarella is melted.
Alternatively, the "spaghetti" can be roasted a day or two ahead of time, shredded with a fork, and refrigerated but the eggs shouldn't be mixed in until ready to bake. —tessga
- 1 medium spaghetti squash
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 pound ground pork (or beef, buffalo, turkey or smartground vegetarian crumbles)
- 1 28 oz. can whole peeled tomatoes, undrained and mashed
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1 cup whole milk (part skim is fine) ricotta
- 1/2 cup mozzarella, grated (smoked mozzarella is also lovely)
- 1/2 cup parmesan, grated
- 3 - 4 large basil leaves, thinly sliced
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Grease or use cooking spray to prepare a deep casserole dish or dutch oven. Wash the spaghetti squash, pat dry, then cut in half lengthwise. Clean out seeds. Sprinkle cut sides lightly with salt and pepper, then place skin side down on a greased cookie sheet. Roast about 45-50 minutes, a fork should be able to shred the flesh into "spaghetti". Fork out all the "spaghetti" into a large bowl and set aside to let cool. Turn the heat down on the oven to 350 degrees.
- Meanwhile, heat 1 TB olive oil over medium heat until it shimmers. Add onion and saute until lightly browned 7-9 minutes, then add ground meat and brown. Drain off any fat. Add mashed whole peeled tomatoes w/juice (I use a potato masher) to the meat/onion mixture and the minced garlic, mix well. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Once the spaghetti squash has cooled, mix in beaten eggs, salt and pepper and place in the bottom of prepared dish. Spoon the meat/onion/tomato/garlic mixture evenly on top of the squash and smooth. Spoon the ricotta evenly on top of the meat mixture and smooth . Sprinkle ricotta with grated parmesan, then with grated mozzarella, then with sliced basil as the final layer. Bake about 30-35 minutes at 350 degrees until bubbling and mozzarella is melted. If desired, broil top for a few minutes to melt and brown the mozzarella further. Let rest about 5 minutes before scooping and serving. Pass grated parmesan for serving.
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