I have seen a million and one variations of this recipe on the internet since I became a pinterest junkie. With a trip to Thailand planned for January, Bill and I decided it was time to focus on our health and fitness before we spend a week on some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. This recipe might just be the best recipe I’ve made this year- not only is it tasty and delicious, it’s filling and healthy. I probably only needed to eat half the squash boat, but I couldn’t help finishing every last bite of this veggie lasagna.
This dish would make the perfect dinner party entree- not only is it easy to make, but the presentation is top notch. How could anyone not be impressed with their own individual squash boat meal?
4-6 small spaghetti squash, halved lengthwise and seeds scooped out
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 head garlic
1 pounds spicy italian chicken sausage, or Italian seasoned ground turkey
4 ounces pancetta, finely chopped
1/2 a sweet onion, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried sage
2 tablespoon fresh basil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
basil, for garnish
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Chop off the top portion of the garlic head to reveal cloves. Peel any excess paper/skin off from the bulb of garlic. Pour about a teaspoon of olive oil on top the garlic cloves and cover with foil. Roast in a baking dish for 45 minutes, or until golden brown and soft. Allow to cool and then squeeze garlic out of the paper skin into a small bowl and mash with a fork, set aside.
At the same time roast the squash. Slice the squash lengthwise and remove the seeds and membrane. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, then place cut side down on a baking sheet and bake about 30 to 45 minutes, or until the squash is just tender enough to scrape into strands. Remove from the oven and scrape the squash into strands.
Reduce the oven to 350 degrees F.
While the squash is baking, in a large skillet, cook 1 tablespoon of olive oil and the pancetta over medium heat, stirring, until the pancetta is lightly browned. Add the onion, thyme and sage and cook, stirring until the veggies are softened, about 5 minutes.
Increase the heat to medium-high. Crumble in the chicken sausage and cook without stirring for 3 minutes. Break up the meat and continue to cook, stirring occasionally until well browned.
Add the tomatoes and basil to the skillet. Simmer, stirring occasionally until thickened, about 15-20 minutes. Once the sauce has thicken a bit, season with salt and pepper. Remove from the heat and stir in the mashed garlic.
To assemble the boats, remove a little of the squash strands from each boat. Then place a layer of the meat sauce on top of the remaining strands, then a layer of the cheese, then layer the removed squash strands on top of the cheese and divide the remaining meat sauce among the boats. Lastly, top with the remaining shredded mozzarella cheese. Place the squash on a baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes at 350, or until the squash are warm throughout and the cheese is browning. Remove from the oven and let sit 5 minutes. Garnish with basil.