Monday, August 6, 2012

Zucchini & Spaghetti Squash Lasagne

This is an off-the-hook cheezy veggie layered bake that began its journey as a mash-up of two recipes that collided in my ADD-led brain as I managed to fritter away the better part of my morning yesterday on Pinterest.
I would have gladly spent all day at it if it meant finding this at the end of it all: Green Lite Bites my new happy place for some awesome vegetarian inspiration where I was then drawn to this. Two recipes. Similar...but different. I love the look of zucchini sliced whisper-thin and was intrigued by the spaghetti squash. Then again there's always something going on in that fridge that needs to find it's greater purpose stat! So this is how this all went down. I slam the computer shut and run to the produce market...because I'm also making a quinoa corn chowder that needs potatoes and I must get all that going in the slow-cooker. Anyhoo...
I started by cutting the spaghetti  squash in half, removing the seeds and then sprinkling the cut side with salt and pepper and a splash of olive oil. I turned the two cut halves down on the flattest plate I had, jabbed the skin a few times with a fork and nuked it for about 12 minutes. You'd almost think I was a pro at this right? This is the first time I've ever prepared or voluntarily eaten a spaghetti squash (I was squashaphobic until about 2 years ago). While the squash was cooking I made
 Five Minute Tomato Sauce (from 101 Cookbooks) :
heat up 2 T. olive oil in a medium sauce pan over medium heat. Add a smashed clove of  garlic, a couple of pinches of kosher salt and about 1/4 t. of red pepper flakes and cook for a couple of minutes until the garlic becomes fragrant. Add a can of crushed tomatoes and cook on medium for about 5 minutes until the sauce is hot. Cover, remove from heat and set aside.
I sliced one large zucchini on a mandoline then tossed it in a bowl with a splash of olive oil, salt and pepper and let it sit a bit so it would exude a bit of water. Then I thinly sliced 4 plum tomatoes and tossed them with a splash of olive oil, salt, pepper, dried oregano, dried basil and dried tarragon and let those sit about 15 minutes to release some water. The spaghetti squash had cooked and cooled a little. Then with a fork, start shredding the squash. It looks like fine egg noodles. I was dubious about the texture, thinking it would be mushy. It was not. Even after baking in the lasagne for 30 minutes the squash had some "tooth". They were still a little crunchy.
I had some ricotta cheese that was teetering on the brink of the trash can, parmesan and some bulk white sliced American cheese (courtesy of my Test Kitchen Dummy) that in my world, should have turned on me long ago, yet it looked and smelled just like it did that day so many months ago when it appeared at my front door, and it tasted just fine, I had to resist the urge to shove whole slices into my gob.
I started with sauce on the bottom, then layered zucchini,  squash, tomatoes, a sprinkle of dried herbs, salt and pepper, cheeses and then zucchini, sauce...oh and some roasted peppers, just for the heck of it 'cuz I had them roasting for a different purpose but couldn't help but thrown those all in there. I probably didn't need the tomatoes and the sauce but the whole thing turned out so freakin' good that I don't feel like I'd change a thing.

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