Spaghetti Squash Casserole

I started planting spaghetti squash about 3 years ago after I found how delicious it was in place of pasta. Like pasta, spaghetti squash loves being matched up with flavorful sauces.  Rather than compete, it takes in the other flavors. That is why I love to pair it with a rich, robust, tomato sauce that uses anchovies to deepen the taste. Yes, anchovies. Those funky, briny fish you hate on your pizza melts down into the oil adding depth and savoriness to this tomato sauce that is truly unforgettable. 

FARMSTORE:PANTRY:
Spaghetti SquashAnchoviesOlive Oil
GarlicCapersBalsamic Vinegar
Cherry TomatoesBlack Olives
OnionsMozzarella Cheese

Roast Spaghetti Squash:

Wash and pat dry 2 spaghetti squashes. Trim both ends with a sharp knife, then cut down the center lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds with a spoon and discard. Place the squash halves cut side down on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Season with TWS Smoked Sea Salt. Roast at 400°F for 25 minutes, or until tender and easily poked with a fork. Let cool slightly; scrape the squash into strands with a fork. Discard the skin.

While the squash is roasting start the sauce.

Caramelized Onions:

In a large heavy skillet, I like to use cast iron, heat 3 tablespoons olive oil over medium-high heat. Add 1 sliced large red onion and sauté for 5 – 8 minutes, or until the onions soften. Add 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar. The balsamic vinegar helps to caramelize the onion giving it a sweet robust flavor. Season with TWS Smoked Sea Salt and continuing sautéing for another 8 – 10 minutes. Onions should be deep golden brown with a jam-like consistency when done.  Transfer to plate and cover to keep warm.

Sauce:

Add enough oil to the skillet to measure 1/4 cup and mix in a 2-ounce tin of anchovies. Let that cook down into liquid form so you have a nice pungent oil left in the skillet. Add 3 – 4 cloves of minced garlic, 2 tablespoons capers that have been rinsed and drained, and a little tomato paste, about 1-inch to start off with.

Mix in and sauté 1 minute. Add 1/4 cup black olives and 1 cup Campari or cherry tomatoes; Sauté 4-5 minutes using a wooden spoon to mash them down as they cook. Add back the onions. Add more tomato paste or oil if needed.

Assemble:

Add the spaghetti squash noodles a bit at a time stirring and coating evenly with sauce before adding more. You want the noodles have enough sauce to be a deep red to ensure maximum taste. Spoon the mixture into a baking dish that has been sprayed with cooking oil.

Top with 1 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese.

Bake:

Place back in the oven and bake 5 – 10 minutes just until the cheese is melted and browned. Garnish with fresh chopped parsley.

Spaghetti Squash Casserole
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
55 mins
 
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: fresh, savory, tomato sauce
Author: Ella @ thewackyspoon.com
Ingredients
  • 2 spaghetti squashes, trimmed, deseeded, and cut in halves
  • 1/4 cup olive oil, plus 3 tablespoons
  • 1 large red onion, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • Salt and pepper, to taste.
  • 1/4 cup olive oil with
  • 2 ounce tin anchovies
  • 3-4 cloves of minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons capers, rinsed and drained
Tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup black olives
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
Instructions
  1. Place the squash halves cut side down on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Roast at 400°F for 25 minutes, or until tender and easily poked with a fork. Let cool slightly; scrape the squash into strands with a fork.
  2. In a medium heavy skillet, heat the oil. When hot add the onion and sauté for 5-8 minutes, or until onion is soft. Add the vinegar, salt, and pepper. Continue sautéing for another 8 – 10 minutes or until golden brown.
  3. Add 1/4 cup olive oil and the anchovies. Let that cook down into liquid form so you have a nice pungent oil left in the skillet. Mix in the garlic and 1-inch of the tomato paste; sauté 1 minute.
  4. Add the olives and cherry tomatoes and continue to sauce for 4-5 minutes breaking them down with a wooden spoon as they cook.
  5. Mix in the squash noodles and cook evenly. If needed, add more oil and tomato paste. Spoon into a greased baking dish and cover with the mozzarella cheese.
  6. Bake for 5 – 10 minutes to melt and brown cheese.
  7. Serve immediately.
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Author: Ella

Just a girl who loves to cook farm-to-fork foods living the dream!

11 thoughts

  1. I do so love spaghetti squash, for all the reasons you’ve listed here. Not to mention I feel less weighed down with it than with traditional pasta. And yes, anchovies are the key to the ragu. I don’t get to involve them in my sauce since the daughter went vegetarian, but those little buggers are all the difference, no doubt.

    Happy Friday Chitown!

    1. Good for your daughter. Mad respect. At least vegetarian allows for the cheese to remain. I could do vegetarian (for a month at least ☺) vegan would be a no go.

        1. It is great, isn’t it! So light and dare I say tasty. Really the only meat I would miss is beef, burgers in particular. And I wouldn’t want to live in a world with no salmon!

    1. Oh my goodness, no I can’t believe you’ve never tried spaghetti squash. I know the word squash scarces people, but spaghetti squash is very mild even bland. It does not have the same sweet earthy taste associated with other squashes, like acorn squash for example. That’s why it’s perfect for cooking because it’ll absorb any flavor you pretty on it.

      It has a nice al dente texture even after being roasted and it shreds like a dream. Leftover shredded spaghetti squash however can get runny after sitting so it’s best to use it in one setting. At least I do not like it as a leftover dish.

        1. Yay! And I can’t wait to see the recipes you come up with after you fall in love with Spaghetti Squash!

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