Spaghetti squash is a pretty incredible veggie: when roasted, it turns into pasta-like strands (the perfect vessel for cheese and sauce). When halved and hollowed out, the squash becomes its own bowl, which you can pile the cheesy squash mixture back into. Store-bought marinara sauce means minimal hands-on time, and the crispy breadcrumbs add some delicious crunch on top. Basically, we’ve created a vegetarian-friendly neighborhood Italian favorite: and we cannot stop raving about it. Make it on a weeknight for the family (they’ll start requesting it often), on Saturday night for guests, or as a festive vegetarian holiday main. If your market only has small squashes, don’t fret! Buy two and follow the recipe as written, dividing the mixture between four halves, instead of two.
1 large spaghetti squash (about 3 lb), halved lengthwise and seeded
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 ounces whole-milk ricotta (½ cup)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley, plus more for serving
¼ cup fresh basil, torn, plus more for serving
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
4 oz. fresh mozzarella, torn into bite-size pieces, divided
1½ cups marinara sauce
4 oz. grated Parmesan (about 1 cup)
½ cup Panko breadcrumbs
How to Make It
Heat oven to 400°F. Place squash on a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet, drizzle cut sides with 2 tablespoons of the oil, and season with 1 teaspoon salt, and several grinds pepper. Place cut side down and roast until easily pierced with a fork, 40 to 45 minutes. Increase oven temperature to 450°F.
Meanwhile, combine the ricotta, parsley, basil, red pepper flakes, half the mozzarella, 1½ teaspoons salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper in a large bowl. In a separate small bowl, combine the breadcrumbs with remaining 1 tablespoon oil and ¼ teaspoon salt.
Using a fork, gently scrape out the squash strands and transfer to the bowl with ricotta mixture. Stir until mostly combined but still streaky. Return the mixture to the hollowed-out squash halves. Dollop the marinara over the squash and scatter with remaining ½ cup mozzarella. Top with Parmesan, and breadcrumbs. Bake until breadcrumbs are golden and cheese is melted and browned in spots, 25-30 minutes. Serve topped with more basil.
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