Occasionally when I’m testing and retesting and reretesting and rereretesting (you get the drift) a recipe, well, even if it’s great, we’ll get really sick of it. I mean, night after night of the same thing? Not necessarily fun. This is not one of those recipes.
White Pizza Spaghetti Squash. It took a few tries to get it just right. A few delicious, delicious, happy tries.
I swear, very time I eat spaghetti squash, I love it more. I want to do all kinds of things to it. All kinds of things. Preparation-wise, people! Man, did things just get weird or what?
I tried coming up with a few other stuffed spaghetti squash recipes this fall, and I have to admit they were pretty much flops. Macaroni and cheese stuffed spaghetti squash, anyone? Yeah, you don’t want that. It was just strange – at least, the way I dreamed it should maybe be.
This one though, this one was a win from the get go. I just needed to tweak it to make it just right. More fresh basil? Yes. Bread crumb topping? Yes yes. Just as good with part-skim ricotta? Yep. A little less mozzarella? Actually yes.
White Pizza Stuffed Spaghetti Squash. Even over and over, a definite yes.
What makes it really work is the ricotta filling stuffed in the bottom there. You know, the cheesy, garlicky, basily ricotta? Right there at the bottom? Yeah, you can’t really see it, I guess. But dig in, friends. You’ll see it then, and you’ll taste it, and you’ll be so happy it’s there.
First, you bake your squash in the oven. Then you scrape the gorgeous spaghetti-like strands out, leaving only the shells behind. And then you fill each shell with a little ricotta filling.
Next, pile that spaghetti squash back in there. Then sprinkle on a little more mozzarella, and some bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese, and a little drizzle of olive oil.
Bake until it gets all melty and golden, and life is good.
Less calories than white pizza, but all the flavor. And with no crust, you’re looking at considerably less carbs, too. Though I’ve gotta say I think these are pretty dynamite with pizza-dough breadsticks served alongside, so, there goes that.
These bad boys will be my veggie main dish of choice for Thanksgiving. They’ll make the meat-eaters happy as a side dish, meanwhile, I’ll hug mine close, thinking quietly, “Suckers! You go ahead and fill up on turkey. I know where it’s really at.”
Okay, maybe a little.
White Pizza Stuffed Spaghetti Squash
- 2 small spaghetti squashes (about 1 1/2 pounds each)
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup part-skim ricotta cheese (whole milk ricotta works too)
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese (divided (about 8 ounces))
- 2 medium cloves garlic (minced (about 1 tablespoon))
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil (plus more for garnish)
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Breadcrumb topping
- 1/4 cup breadcrumbs
- 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
- With a sharp, heavy chef's knife, carefully cut off just the very ends of the spaghetti squashes (so that they'll sit upright when filled). Cut spaghetti squash in half width wise, and scoop out seeds with a spoon. Discard seeds. Brush a little olive oil on the inside of each half and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Place cut-side down on a baking sheet and bake for about 40 minutes, until tender enough to pierce easily with a fork.
- Meanwhile, make the filling. In a medium bowl, stir together the ricotta cheese, 1 cup of the shredded mozzarella, garlic, basil, oregano, salt, and pepper.
- Remove spaghetti squashes from the oven and, once cool enough to handle, use a fork to scrape the spaghetti-like strands of squash into a bowl. Return shells to baking sheet, this time upright.
- Gently toss squash with a little drizzle of olive oil, a pinch of kosher salt, and a few turns of freshly ground black pepper.
- Divide ricotta mixture between each squash - about 1/2 cup of cheese filling per squash. Pile each squash "cup" with the spaghetti squash, dividing evenly. Top each with the remaining shredded mozzarella cheese, about 1/4 cup per squash half.
- In a small bowl, stir together the bread crumbs and Parmesan. Sprinkle over the top of each. Drizzle with olive oil.
- Bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for about 30 minutes, until crumbs are golden brown and cheese is bubbly.
- Top with basil leaves for garnish if desired and serve.