I may have eaten a lot of pasta before I went paleo then GAPS, but for the most part, I haven’t missed it. Occasionally, though, I do crave a particular pasta dish, and that’s where spaghetti squash comes in. I’ve used this noodley squash to replace the pasta in a favorite pesto dish and in “spaghetti” and meatballs, so why not lasagna?
Sunday was my birthday, and although we had already gone out to a fancy pants restaurant the night before, I still wanted a special dinner for my actual birthday. Lasagna sounded just right. I had already attempted to make a grain-free lasagna with eggplant, but I must have done it wrong because the eggplant “noodles” where tough and chewy. But the cheese and meat sauce? To die for. So I had to try again–this time with the squash. Definitely a winner. We all had seconds, and the leftovers were gone by lunchtime the next day.
My recipe is loosely based on one I got from my aunt, which she got from my grandma. I think what really makes this lasagna is the Italian sausage. I don’t know what Italians traditionally use for meat in lasagna, but I swear it should be Italian sausage, not ground beef or turkey. The cheese is pretty amazing, too. It’s not the most GAPS-friendly recipe, what with all the melted cheese, but definitely a once in a while dish if you can tolerate it.
I recommend serving with a glass of raw milk or maybe some grape flavored kombucha, and a side of green salad (although you’ll probably be too busy eating the lasagna to really care about salad). Yum Yum. Enjoy!
Spaghetti Squash Lasagna
1 small spaghetti squash (about three pounds)
1 1/4 lb bulk mild Italian sausage (or Italian sausages with meat removed from casings)
16 oz tomato pasta sauce (from a jar or homemade)
16 oz cottage cheese (or 8 oz cottage and 8 oz ricotta)
8 oz mozzarella cheese
4-6 oz cheddar cheese
1/2 cup grated parmesan
Cut spaghetti squash in half lengthwise and place face down in a pan with a little bit of water. Bake at 350°F until tender (45 min to an hour). Allow to cool a bit while preparing meat sauce and cheese.
Brown the sausage in a medium skillet. Add tomato sauce and some seasonings. I always add extra oregano and basil to pre-made sauce, and for lasagna I like to add extra parsely. Just adjust it until it is to your liking. Simmer until the sauce is somewhat thick.
While sausage browns and sauce simmers, you can work on the cheese. Grate the hard cheeses (freezing mozzarella for 15-30 minutes will make it easier to grate) and toss together in a bowl. Mix together ricotta and cottage cheeses if using both.
You can try draining the spaghetti squash before putting it into the lasagna, but this didn’t work for me. It barely drained beforehand and then got all watery in the lasagna, so we had to drain the lasagna. No big deal.
Place half of the squash noodles in the bottom of a 9 x 13 inch baking dish. Spread half of soft cheese. Sprinkle a thin layer of salt, followed by a thin layer of black pepper and then parsley. Next a third of the grated cheese, followed by half of the meat sauce.
Repeat the layers and then top with the last third of the grated cheese.
Bake at 350°F for 25-30 minutes or until cheese is about to bubble. Allow to cool for a several minutes before serving.