Living without gluten, casein, soy, eggs and peanuts. Living with ASD and ADHD. Life is good!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Spagetti Squash Pesto "Lasagna"


I love spaghetti squash. Yes, Mom, I know you are rolling her eyes at me (all I would do as a kid is crinkle my nose at it and say "yuck"). It's funny how your tastes change as you get older. Now I think the stuff is great. So I bought one and it sat on the counter for several days, staring at me, daring me to make something different than my usual spaghetti squash recipe. I've been really in the mood for lasagna lately but have not been in stores that carry gluten free lasagna noodles and then I thought, why don't I make lasagna out of the squash instead of using noodles? I found myself at Book of Yum and was completely inspired by her Spaghetti Squash Un-lasagna, so I decided to wing it.

I have not had lasagna for a year and a half, not since going casein free as well as gluten free. Why bother, since what is so great about lasagna in the first place is all the cheesy goodness? But NOW, with Whole Foods carrying Daiya Shredded Mozzarella, that changes everything! I can make a completely plausible lasagna with just the Daiya, no ricotta required! The more I thought about it, the more I really wanted a pesto lasagna. I used to make a homemade lasagna to die for - rolling the pasta extra thin, layering pesto and cheese - even the Italian woman I worked with who gave me her pasta machine in the first place sang the praises of that lasagna. I'm not ready to try making gluten free homemade pasta, but I am ready to play with spaghetti squash lasagna. And so I present this humble recipe.

Someday I want to try making Pine Nut Ricotta, which looks incredibly intriguing. When I can find a small container of nutritional yeast instead of the massive 1 pounders that I'll never go through, I'll try it. For now, the Daiya works really well!

Spaghetti Squash Pesto "Lasagna"

1 large spaghetti squash
2 tbsp. olive oil
2 cloves minced garlic
Spinach Pesto (make it thick, not runny)
Daiya Shredded Mozzarella
1/4 cup pine nuts

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Halve the squash lengthwise and place cut side down in a baking dish. Pour water about 1/4 inch deep into the pan. Prick the squash halves several times with a fork. Cover with tin foil. Bake 30 - 45 minutes, or until a fork goes into the sqash without resistance. Let cool long enough to handle, about 10 minutes.

Smear the bottom and up the sides of an 8x8 inch baking dish with the olive oil and garlic. Scoop one half of the squash and blot the strands dry with a paper towel. Press the squash into the bottom of the baking dish. Cover the squash layer with a thin layer of pesto, then with a thin layer of mozzarella.

Scoop the other half of the squash and blot the strands dry with a paper towel. Lightly press the squash into the baking dish on top of the cheese. Repeat pesto and cheese layers. Sprinkle the pine nuts over top of the cheese.

Bake about 15 minutes at 375 degrees, or until the cheese is melted and your kitchen smells fabulous. Remove the lasagna and let cool about 5 minutes before cutting into squares and serving.

*This would also be great with layers of fresh sliced tomato, just be sure to blot the tomato on paper towels so the dish does not get watery.

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