Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Spaghetti squash with ricotta, sage, pignoli, and parmesan

Spaghetti squash (and pumpkin) are much lower in carbohydrates than other winter squashes. When I set out to devise an alternative to the traditional sweet potato casserole (marshmallows optional) I kept coming back to the idea of a creamy spaghetti squash casserole. The addition of ricotta as a binder gives the squash a smooth, velvety texture. Rather than making a sweet casserole, I punched up the flavor with toasted pine nuts, sage, browned butter, garlic, and parmesan. Finally, a quick trip under the broiler gives it a crispy topping.

SPAGHETTI SQUASH CASSEROLE

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 medium-sized spaghetti squash (about 2 lbs)
  • 1/2 Tbs unsalted butter
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp minced fresh sage leaves (note: I used 1 tsp but it didn't seem like enough. Next time I will bump it up to 1 Tbs.)
  • 2 oz pine nuts (pignoli), toasted until fragrant and brown
  • 3/4 cup whole milk ricotta
  • 1-2 Tbs grated Parmesan cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste (I used about 1.5 tsp salt and lots of pepper)
DIRECTIONS:
  1. Cut the spaghetti squash in half lengthwise, scoop out the seeds, and microwave on high for 6-8 minutes. Shred the flesh with a fork and then scoop it out with a big spoon into a casserole dish.
  2. Heat the butter over medium heat until nut brown. Add the garlic and sage leaves, saute until garlic is straw-colored, then add to the squash.
  3. Add the ricotta, pine nuts, salt, and pepper to the squash. Smooth out the top.
  4. Sprinkle the top evenly with a layer of Parmesan.
  5. Broil until the top is brown in spots.

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