Tis the season for finding spaghetti squash all over the grocery stores, and Costco happens to be selling two packs for around $5 (organic even). It’s been my new favorite “pasta” and when made right, it can be the new fave for those who don’t even like squash. Many squashes become very mushy once cooked and I’ve discovered that I actually prefer a lot of them raw, but spaghetti squash is an exception with its “al dente” “noodles” and rich, but not very strong, flavor. The texture is so cool that it makes any dish that would normally seem soggy or mushy, have a little life back in it with the bit of crunch that it give. (More photos coming soon).
To roast the squash:
- Preheat oven to 375º
- Cut squash in half length wise (I cut off the ends as it makes it a bit easier to cut through. This type of squash is VERY firm and not easy to cut through without some muscle and a very sharp knife).
- Scoop out the stringy insides and the seeds and discard (or save the seeds to roast, toast, plant, whatever). Does not have to be completely clean…a little bit of stringy stuff won’t hurt.
- Sprinkle the cut sides with a little salt (we prefer himalayan salt) and some fresh cracked black pepper.
- Lay on baking sheet, cut sides up, and roast for 45 minutes to 1 hour (until fork tender).
- Once finished, let sit for a 5-10 minutes, then use a fork to shred the innards of the squash into spaghetti-like strands
For the cashew ricotta:
- Soak one cup of cashews for a few hours (not necessary if you have a high powered blender, but I feel like it’s creamier if the nuts are soaked first)
- Drain cashews and put in blender
- Add about 1/4 cup water
- Add 2 cloves of garlic to the blender
- Add the juice of half of one lemon (about 2 Tb)
- Add about 1/4 cup nutritional yeast (most stores carry it in their health food section. I can get it in bulk at my local grocery store for fairly cheap).
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Blend until the consistency you like
- Add some fresh parsley (about 3-4 sprigs) and pulse until the parsley is just blended into the “cheese”
For the casserole:
- Pour one thin layer of marinara sauce on the bottom of a glass casserole dish (jar or homemade will work great for this)
- Place a layer of spaghetti squash on the marinara
- Put half of the cashew ricotta over the top of the squash and spread evenly
- Place a layer of spinach on top of the ricotta (or whatever veggies you would like – sliced mushrooms, zucchini, kale, would all work)
- Layer with the marinara and then repeat the previous layering
- Add a final layer of spaghetti squash on top
- Bake at 375º for 25-30 minutes uncovered to allow the top layer of squash to crisp up a little bit
Serve with some plant based parmesan and enjoy! (Watch for the parmesan recipe – coming soon.)