you may now call me madame president. i can’t decide if that sounds pretentious and foofy, or kind of kick-butt. maybe both. somehow i ended up the president of that information technology club i’ve mentioned a couple times. scary for sure (all those eyes! meetings with the dean and the consortium of other computer science club presidents!) but also exciting. i had a really good experience during my term as vp of marketing, and i attribute a healthy chunk of that to how the previous pres/internal vp led. i hope i can do the same for my new board.
i know i normally celebrate with cake (see: thai tea vietnamese coffee cake, chocolate mint cupcakes with chocolate shortbread crumble, matcha cake with strawberry swiss meringue buttercream), but this spaghetti squash lasagna with scallion gremolata is delicious, so it’s equally as worthy of being a celebration food as cake. heads up that it’s more squash than noodle heavy (though both are involved), and the noodles act as a structural support more than the main texture.
i was originally going to make this spaghetti squash lasagna from virtually homemade. then i started thinking about adding some noodles and olives, making a quick homemade tomato sauce and ooh what about serving it with an herb gremolata?! the final dish that you see here is a wee bit different, and better fits its new spaghetti squash lasagna with scallion gremolata moniker.
you still get that signature crunch (the closest texture cousin i can think of is jellyfish, but even that’s not quite right) of spaghetti squash, melty stringy cheese and rich tomato sauce that you would in that original spaghetti squash lasagna. it’s cozy and perfect as we tie up the last bits of “winter” (oh, southern california). now, the gremolata: it’s optional if you want to keep the more traditional lasagna flavor profile, but it’s the bam, the wake up call, the rooster in the morning if you want to mix it up a bit. it’s fresh, citrusy and herby and a little bit definitely goes a long way. you could, of course, use scallions instead of gremolata and call it a day. it’s delicious either way, i promise.
1 year ago: Hong Kong Style Dan Tats (Egg Tarts), Caramel Banana Upside Down Cake
2 years ago: French Onion Dip with Caramelized Onions and Greek Yogurt, Winter Squash Soup with Curry and Coconut Milk, Rant Thursday #1, UCLA, Will Jay and Fonuts
3 years ago: Sakamoto Nauml (Marinated Bean Sprouts), Mediterranean Baked Chicken
- 2 lbs spaghetti squash seeded and quartered
- 1 onion chopped
- 4 garlic cloves minced
- 28 oz canned tomatoes I prefer whole but chopped is fine too
- 4 no-boil lasagna noodles
- 1/3 cup Spanish manzanilla olives chopped (optional)
- 12 slices fresh mozzarella
- 1/3 cup grated parmesan
- 3 green onions chopped
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro leaves
- 1/4 tsp finely grated lemon or orange zest
Drizzle the squash with oil and sprinkle with salt, then roast at 375F for 45-50 minutes, or until fork-tender. Cool slightly, then scrape the squash into strands and discard the skin/shell.
Heat some oil in a medium skillet over medium heat, then add the onion and saute until translucent. Add most of the garlic and saute until fragrant. Add the tomatoes with their juices, and simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until thickened. Break down the tomatoes with a pair of kitchen shears or the back of a fork if you like the sauce chunky, or use an immersion blender/normal blender for a smoother sauce.
In a greased 8x8” baking pan, spread a thick layer of sauce on the bottom. Add half of the lasagna noodles, and another layer of sauce on top. Sprinkle with half of the olives, half of the mozzarella and half of the parmesan. Add all of the squash, then half of the remaining sauce. Sprinkle on the rest of the olives, then the rest of the noodles. Spread the rest of the sauce on top, making sure to completely cover the noodles, then finish with the remaining mozzarella and parmesan. The pan will be completely full.
Place the pan on a baking sheet to catch any drips, then bake at 350F for 30 minutes. Increase the heat to 375F, and bake for 10-15 minutes, or until the cheese is browned. Meanwhile, mix the green onion, cilantro, lemon zest and remaining garlic in a small bowl; this is the gremolata.
Let stand for 10-15 minutes, then slice and serve with the gremolata.
If you want to make a 9x13" pan, double all the quantities, then layer in a 9x13" pan. You may need to play around with the baking time a little, but as long as the noodles are soft, it'll be fine.