Squash the Noodles Lasagna

This dish was honestly one of the easier recipes for me to come up with. I’ve made regular lasagna – heck, that’s part of my vows to Mr. Fantabulous. “To honor, love, cherish, know how to make killer lasagna…in sickness and health..”  No, seriously! *wink*.  As I was saying I make regular lasagna, lasagna roll ups but then I also make zucchini lasagna for those nights when pasta just isn’t something I want. Heck I’ve even made unstuffed cabbage lasagna for those days when I have zero desire to roll 9,000 stuffed cabbages! Well this night I had a medium sized zucchini on hand and a good sized spaghetti squash.  I had cooked my spaghetti squash like I normally do – TYVM microwave.  I shredded it and there it sat in the fridge for 2 days. I actually forgot about it.

Well I was making stuffed shells that night and realized I had too much ricotta filling.  So honestly this recipe came out of excess of an ingredient.  Since I had extra but not quite enough I whipped up a little more filling and opted to go with this lasagna. This seriously was so easy to make I’m almost embarrassed to share it.  Like seriously if you can slice, mix, layer (not even well mind you) and bake you can make this.  Heck even Mr. Fantabulous could make this… well, that is if he liked stuff like this.  He’s still a traditionalist when it comes to his lasagna.  It’s the Italian in him.  Plus while he’ll eat zucchini he’s not a huge fan of it. It’s more like if I make it and put it on his plate he’ll eat it while complaining he really doesn’t like it.  LOL

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So the name, pretty ingenious, right?

Now the name I cannot take credit for. See coming up with the name was the hardest part for me.  Originally I named it “Spaghetti Squash Zucchini Layered Lasagna”.  Pretty dull, huh? I wanted something catchy; something that would make people remember it.  Initially I did ask Mr. Fantabulous for suggestions and pretty much I got “Stuff I don’t like Lasagna”.  haha

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So it seems like nowadays when one used to turn to their friends for advice they now turn to social media.  And that’s exactly what I did.  I posted a pic on Facebook and asked for help from the TKW Family on naming the dish.  I described what was in it and how it was layered.  I gave my original thoughts but said that I hated it.  Some of the names you folks came up with were awesome!

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Zucsquazagna, Zesty Layered Squash Casserole, Squacchini Casserole, Easy Peasy Veggieshetti, Medley Squash Stackers, Creamy Squash Lasagna (Healthy – Gluten Free), Spsquchiini and Squashalotta! just to name a few.  I mean seriously, how friggen creative are these people!  I would never EVER thought of those.  

In the end I had to go with TKW Family member, Cris M’s suggestion of “Squash the Noodle Lasagna”. It’s cheeky, rememberable and just down right fun!  AWESOME job Cris and everyone that gave suggestions!

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As for cooking this dish you cook it like regular lasagna meaning you cook it covered for a period of time then uncovered to melt the cheese. Since the spaghetti squash was already cooked all I had to do was cook it until the zucchini was fork tender. The smells were amazing.  You could smell the basil and tomato sauce through the air and to see that cheese on top all bubbling.  OMG seriously I could not wait to dive into this think fork first however…

Yes, there’s a however.

*sigh*  Just like traditional lasagna you have to let it rest for at least 15 minutes once you take it out of the oven to let it cool slightly to set otherwise if you won’t you end up with a big ol blob of stuff on your plate and though while delicious it’s not exactly visually appealing.

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But once I cut this and plated it… oh dear sweet Jesus it was all I could do to stop myself from digging in.  I think this was the fastest photo shoot I have ever done!   Like seriously my food was still steaming hot when I went to finally eat which NEVER happens! Now as I’m inhaling that first gorgeous bite below Mr. Fantabulous walks out. Well wait let me first state that I heard him coming out towards the kitchen as I heard “sniff sniff SNIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIF’ which means the nose smelled something awesome and the stomach was steering the body to go find out the source and ingest it.

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So there I am just getting ready to stuff this gorgeous bite into my mouth I hear “Baby what did you make as it smells awesome… wait is THAT what I smell??? That’s one of your funky non-real recipes huh? Crap! What did you make me?”

Yeah needless to say he was not happy that the deliciousness came from his “Stuff I don’t like Lasagna”.  Now even though this looked absolutely gorgeous AND smelled even better he refused to partake.  Normally I get peeved if he won’t try something as he’s the one person I know that will be 100% brutally honest but with this, he was having zero part of it so you’re going to have to take my word for it.  This was AMAZING!

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This dish is perfect for summer time as all of these items are in abundance. It’s the perfect vegetarian meal and falls right in line with Meatless Mondays. What also is awesome about this dish is like traditional lasagna (you know the stuff Mr. Fantabulous does like) is that it’s even better the next day!  All those flavors meld together into one bite of incredible awesomeness!

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Squash the Noodles Lasagna
Find more fantabulous recipes, tips and tricks at www.thekitchenwhisperer.net. Also, join our TKW Family on Facebook
Ingredients
  • 1 medium spaghetti squash
  • 1 medium zucchini, sliced into thin rounds
  • 2 cups marinara sauce, warmed
  • 1 1/2 cups ricotta
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup Mozzarella Cheese, Shredded
  • 1/4 cup Fontina Cheese, Shredded (reserved for end)
  • 1/4 cup Mozzarella Cheese, Shredded (reserved for end)
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 Tbl parsley flakes
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 5-6 basil leaves, torn
Instructions
  1. Pierce the squash all around and microwave for 14 minutes, depending on your microwave wattage.
  2. About half way through roll it over and continue cooking.
  3. Cut open squash (watch it’s hot!) and remove seeds.
  4. Using a fork simply ‘shred’ the squash’s innards and it will look like spaghetti noodles.
  5. Transfer spaghetti squash to a strainer and with a few paper towels press down to remove as much liquid as possible.
  6. Preheat the oven to 350F with a rack in the middle.
  7. In a bowl, mix the ricotta, egg, 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella, 1/4 cup grated Parmesan, parsley, 1/2 tsp salt and 1/2 pepper. Combine well.
  8. In a 5qrt oval baking dish with 2” high sides, ladle 1/2 cup of sauce on the bottom of the dish.
  9. Place half of the squash over top.
  10. Place the zucchini rounds over top of the squash slightly overlapping.
  11. Sprinkle 1/2 tsp salt and pepper over top.
  12. Spread out the ricotta mixture over top leveling out.
  13. Add the torn basil leaves on top.
  14. Ladle 3/4-1 cup of sauce over the basil. This depends on how saucy you like your dish.
  15. Add the remaining spaghetti squash over top.
  16. Drizzle the remaining sauce on top.
  17. Place the baking dish on a rimmed baking pan.
  18. Spray a large piece of foil and place the sprayed side facing down (on top of the squash).
  19. Bake for 30 minutes.
  20. Remove the foil and place the remaining 1/2 cup of mozzarella and fontina cheese on top.
  21. Bake uncovered for 10-15 minutes or until the cheesy is bubbling.
  22. Allow to cool for 10-15 minutes before serving.

 

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