The end of summer caused me to go through a savory recipe rut. It’s that odd time when summer produce turns mediocre but is still being sold, and when squash and brussels sprouts just aren’t quite at their peak.
But now that it’s nearly mid October I think I’m getting into the fall cooking groove. The squash piles are growing at the store each week, and there is a chill in the air causing me to crave steamy-hot, comforting meals.
While I never grow tired of roasting spaghetti squash and eating it with a drizzle of olive oil, salt, and pepper, I try to come up with a fun and unique recipe each year that highlights this odd, crunchy, noodle-y vegetable.
In 2010 [oy.] they were Tex-Mex stuffed. In 2012 I took the squash and stuffed it into jumbo pasta shells with mushrooms and spinach. Man, those were gooood. And last year I mixed in chard with a fire roasted tomato sauce.
It’s possible that 2014 is the best squash stuffing year yet.
I cooked the spaghetti squash and then created a mixture of garlic, shallot, white beans, sun-dried tomatoes, and kale. That mixture was combined with the squash and then tossed with ricotta + parmesan.
And because it’s way more fun for serving, I re-stuffed the squash shells with the mixture and set it off to bake. Oh man. The crispy top layer.
And the breadcrumbs!
Tuscan Kale + White Bean Spaghetti Squash Lasagna Bake gluten-free // yields 4 large or 8 sm/med servings
- 2, 3-4 pound spaghetti squash
- 1-2 tablespoons sunflower oil, divided
- 1/4 cup minced shallot
- 4 teaspoons minced garlic
- 2, 15oz cans cannellini beans, drained + rinsed
- 1 cup sliced sun-dried tomatoes, not oil-packed
- 10 cups ribboned Tuscan/dino/lacinato kale, stems removed ~2 med. bunches
- 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh oregano,
- 1 large egg
- 15oz full-fat ricotta cheese
- 1 cup grated parmesan cheese
- salt + pepper
- 3 slices gluten-free bread, I used Udi’s
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly chopped oregano
Preheat your oven to 400° F. Slice spaghetti squash lengthwise and scrape out seeds. Drizzle with oil, a sprinkle of salt + pepper and then rub in. Line 1-2 baking sheets with parchment paper and place squash cut side down. Bake for about 35-40 minutes until just tender enough that you can scrape the squash into strands. You don’t want it fully cooked since it will be baked again.
While cooking, place bread in a blender or food processor and grind into breadcrumbs. Toast on a pan in the oven [top rack is fine] for about 6-8 minutes. Remove and let cool fully, then toss with oregano and parmesan.
Flip the cooked squash halves over and let cool for 15 minutes [longer is fine].
While cooling, heat a large sauté pan over medium-low heat. Add 2 teaspoons of oil. Once hot, add the shallot and let cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently. Add in the garlic with another teaspoon of oil and stir frequently for about 2-3 minutes, until lightly browned. Preheat oven to 350° F.
Raise the pan heat to medium. Add the white beans and a hefty sprinkle of salt + pepper. Let cook for 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir the sun-dried tomatoes into the pan and let cook for about 2 minutes. Stir in the kale and oregano. Let cook for 1-2 minutes until just starting to wilt. Remove mixture from the heat.
Scrape about 90% of the spaghetti squash into a large mixing bowl, leaving some attached to each shell. Empty the kale mixture over the squash and combine. Add salt and pepper until seasoned to your liking.
Whisk the egg in a small mixing bowl. Mix mix in the ricotta, parmesan, a pinch of salt, and about 1/4 teaspoon black pepper until. Empty over the squash mixture and toss with your hands to evenly distribute. Scoop 1/4 of the mixture into each squash shell. Do not pack in. Bake for 25 minutes, until the top layer is a lightly crisped and brown.
Sprinkle with toasted breadcrumb mixture and bake for another 5-8 minutes. Remove and let cool slightly then serve.
Pretty sure this would be a show-stopper meal for a dinner party. Just sayin’.