Hi there blog readers. I’ve been away from the blog for quite some time. Today when I started thinking about writing a blog entry, I had to stop and think about which which blog software to open and where to find it on my computer! I hated being away for so long.
Tonight I came up with a new recipe – Spaghetti Squash Au Gratin. It is storming outside and has been for the last couple of days. It is about fifty degrees and it finally feels like fall. I definitely needed some comfort food tonight.
I have to give the credit to my mom – she had scribbled a few notes in a notebook about this recipe idea. She was going through the notebook and said, “here look at this.” The second I read it I knew we could make this for dinner. I was especially excited because it was something that actually sounded good to me – which had not happened in days!
I already had a spaghetti squash in the kitchen. I was having a heck of a time trying to get it cut open – when suddenly I remembered a trick I learned from a friend. I got out my meat tenderizer and started gently knocking it onto my chef’s knife. This worked like a charm!
For the spaghetti squash, I seasoned it with freshly ground pepper and a little bit of sea salt. I placed it on a baking tray lined with parchment paper – cut side facing up. The squash baked in the 400 degree oven for 50 minutes.
While this was happening I cut up a small onion, two cloves of garlic and half of a red pepper. I put one tablespoon of butter in a medium sized pan and sautéed the onion, garlic and red pepper until the onion was starting to brown.
The rest of the au gratin came together when I mixed the spaghetti squash with half a cup of light sour cream and a fourth cup of reduced fat shredded cheese. After that was mixed together, I added the ingredients from the sauté pan and put everything into a medium sized baking dish:
And then topped the mixture with another helping of shredded cheese and then a sprinkle of panko breadcrumbs. I baked this in the oven at 375 for twenty minutes. When I took it out it was bubbling and browning perfectly!
I used small plates to serve up the gratin, and it was a really great and warm dinner on this cold and stormy night. It’s a great dinner for vegetarians and would be a great side dish for people that are meat eaters!
My final product:
Spaghetti Squash Au Gratin
1 spagetti squash
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 red pepper, chopped
2 cloves of garlic
1 – 2 teaspoons of crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon of dried thyme
salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/2 C sour cream
1/2 C shredded cheese
1/4 C Breadcrumbs
Cut spaghetti squash in half, scoop out seeds. Place on a lined baking sheet. Season with salt and pepper. Cook in oven at 400 degrees for 50 min – 1 hour. (You can also use a microwave technique if you’d like to speed up the process)
While the squash bakes, put butter in a medium sized sauté pan over medium heat. Once butter has melted add onion, pepper and garlic. Add red pepper flakes and thyme. Sauté mixture until onion is starting to brown. 6 – 8 minutes. Stir on a regular basis as not to burn the garlic.
Once the spaghetti squash has cooked, let it cool for a few minutes and then scoop out the membrane into a medium sized bowl. Mix in half of the shredded cheese, the 1/2 C of sour cream and the onion, garlic & red pepper mixture.
Put the combined mixture into a buttered baking dish (I used Trader Joe’s olive oil spray) Top the mixture with remaining shredded cheese and breadcrumbs. Place baking dish into oven, bake at 375 for 15 – 20 minutes until bubbling and starting to brown.