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HTTP/1.1 200 OK Date: Tue, 03 Dec 2013 16:32:47 GMT Server: Apache X-Pingback: http://blog.fatfreevegan.com/xmlrpc.php Link: ; rel=shortlink Vary: Accept-Encoding Cache-Control: max-age=172800 Expires: Thu, 05 Dec 2013 16:32:47 GMT Transfer-Encoding: chunked Content-Type: text/html; charset=UTF-8 Spaghetti Squash Pesto Lasagna | recipe from FatFree Vegan Kitchen

Spaghetti Squash Pesto Lasagna

Right before I went vegan, I made the best lasagna I had ever tasted. It was called Pesto Lasagna, and it contained eggs and three kinds of cheese. It was so rich and creamy that I never tried to recreate it as a vegan because a cheeseless, low-fat version seemed impossible. I’m not usually one to shy away from tackling the impossible, but I didn’t want to tamper with the memory of a meal that had grown to mythic–and probably unrealistic–proportions over the years. But this week I decided not only to take on the pesto lasagna of my vegetarian days but also to do something I never would have dreamed of doing back then: substitute the noodles with spaghetti squash for a lighter, gluten-free, but still rich and creamy lasagna. And I’m so glad I did!

Cooked Spaghetti Squash

Properly Cooked Spaghetti Squash

But before there was success, there was failure. My first attempt never really got past the spaghetti squash stage. I had bought a small, 2-pound spaghetti squash at the farmers’ market, and I roasted it, as I’ve done in the past. But when I cut it open, the insides were a wet, clumpy mess, not the individual strands of gold “spaghetti” I was expecting. I couldn’t even separate the seeds from the flesh because it was all one sodden pile of mush. I must have cooked it too long for its size, but that’s the problem with cooking a spaghetti squash whole–you can’t check it to determine when it’s done.

Spaghetti Squash Pesto Lasagna

Spaghetti Squash in Pressure Cooker

For my next attempt, I decided to cut the squash in half before cooking so that I could check its doneness. I went down to the grocery store and bought a medium-sized squash, a little over 3 pounds. I didn’t want to wait the hour it could take to roast the squash, so I decided as a short-cut to pressure cook it instead. I fitted my electric pressure cooker with a gadget I’d just bought, a silicone steamer basket, added a cup of water and the two halves of the squash, and then set the timer on high for 8 minutes. I figured that if it needed more time, I could always add another minute, but when I checked it, the squash was perfectly cooked, tender enough that I could scrape out the golden strands but not turning to mush.

Spaghetti Squash Pesto Lasagna

The squash turned out perfectly and so did the lasagna. My husband raved at how good it was and told me that, frankly, he hadn’t been optimistic about spaghetti squash instead of lasagna noodles. But we both loved the creaminess of the sauce and filling which contrasted with the slight crunch of the “noodles.” And the fresh basil gave it a fresh, peppery zing. It was a complicated dish to make on a weeknight, but I’ll definitely make it again.

Product Alert!

In this recipe, I used my VitaMix to blend cashews into a smooth sauce. If you’ve been looking for a high-speed blender but have been put off by the high price, this may be your lucky month. All through November, VitaMix is having a sale on their reconditioned blenders. A variable speed control standard blender, like the one I bought reconditioned five years ago, is only $299 this month and comes with a 5-year warranty. Mine arrived looking–and working–like new, so I always recommend the reconditioned models for their value. You can check out all the reconditioned models on sale this month and get free shipping through my affiliate link

 

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