Spaghetti Squash “Lasagna” Mini Casseroles

A fun take on the typical lasagna – use spaghetti squash instead of lasagna noodle to cut calories and carbohydrates. Bake and serve in individual ramekins for portion control and cute plating! Serve with a fresh garden salad and whole wheat rolls for a complete meal.

squash-gratin-ck-1134082-l

Ingredients:
1 (2-pound) spaghetti squash
1 tsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp salt, divided
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper, divided
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
2 (28-oz) cans whole tomatoes, drained and chopped
3 oregano sprigs
3 thyme sprigs
1/2 cup grated fresh Parmesan cheese
2 tsp chopped fresh oregano
1 tsp chopped fresh thyme
1 (15-oz) carton fat-free or low-fat ricotta cheese

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
2. Pierce squash with a fork. Place squash on a baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees F for 1 hour or until tender. Cool. Cut squash in half lengthwise and discard seeds. Scrape inside of squash with a fork to remove spaghetti-like strands to measure 4 cups.
3. Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic and cook 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp black pepper, crushed red pepper, tomatoes, oregano, and thyme sprigs – bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer for 20 minutes or until thickened, stirring occasionally. Discard oregano and thyme sprigs.
4. Combine remaining 1/2 tsp salt, remaining 1/4 tsp black pepper, Parmesan, and remaining ingredients. Spoon 1/2 cup squash into each of 8 (8 oz) ramekins. Spoon tomato sauce evenly over squash and divide ricotta mixture evenly among ramekins, spreading to cover. Bake at 400 degrees F for 50 minutes or until lightly browned.

Yield: 8 servings (117 calories, 2.7 g total fat 1.1 g saturated fat, 7.8 g protein, 15.1 g carbohydrate, 1.1 g fiber, 13 mg cholesterol)

Cooking Light, December 2005

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