Monday, April 12, 2010

Spaghetti Squash Casserole. Who Would Have Thought?

A certain someone has been begging me to make Spaghetti Squash. I love squash but I have to admit Spaghetti Squash is by far my least favorite. I looked into the squash online because I wanted to make a complete meal with it and the squash being the center of attention.

I've been told that classically this squash is paired with marinara and Italian style things. I scoffed when hearing this and said"NO WAY...." Boy was I wrong when looking into it. I learned very quickly that almost every recipe idea that I could find was the squash pretty much being used as a replacement for noodles.

I did my shopping. I got what I would normally put into a sauce; mushrooms, bell pepper, and onions. I also got some carrots and celery. I decided that I was going to Caramelize my traditional mirepoix (2 part onion to 1 part Carrot and 1 part celery) then add shallots, garlic, mushrooms and the bell pepper and caramelize them as well. Caramelizing brings out the natural sweetness in vegetables though it takes a little while to do properly every time it is worth it. I got some whole milk mozzarella and the organic pre-made marinara sauce to finish this dish off!

To start I had to cook the squash and let it cool. I baked in the oven at 375, 45 minutes face down and then 45 minutes face up. Once it was cooked, pulled out of the oven and cooled off I proceeded to shred the squash out with a fork. It pulls out the width of the squash looking like spaghetti noodles but if you do it the length of the squash it turns into mush. I added my caramelized vegetables and a pinch of salt and pepper and made sure everything was mixed in evenly. Then I took about a cup of marinara and mixed it in as well. I did not make sure it was everywhere because I don't think that it was the most important ingredient. The most important ingredient was the cheese on top! Mozzarella was grated up and sprinkled very generously on top. I baked it up for about 45 minutes until the cheese was bubbly and turning brown on top. The brown cheese is my favorite part!

I had an extra guest over for dinner this night who hates mushrooms. I think it's just merely the idea of them because as I have proven if he doesn't know they are in the food he eats everything up and never complains. If he sees me put them in the recipe he refuses to eat it because there are mushrooms, even if the pieces are big and easy to pick out. What a phenomenon it is with foods people don't like. I hate having to adjust recipes for certain things that I love. Lucky for me the usual dinner guest eats everything (especially mushrooms) and just discriminates afterwards. But without fail will always try whatever I put in front of them!

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