06 Mar 2018 Layered Cheesy “Pasta” (Spaghetti Squash) Primavera (Pesach and year round)
This is a tasty, nutritious, colorful and satisfying dish – for Pesach or anytime of the year. It would be a lovely complement to a fish meal, or any vegetarian/dairy menu. As are most of my recipes, it’s relatively easy to put together.
My tasters Sunday afternoon (my kids, and nephews from both sides – of all ages), as well as myself and my husband, all came to the unanimous conclusion that this dish is “Delicious!” I knew they were telling the truth when they went back to the pan for seconds!
Layered Cheesy “Pasta” (Spaghetti Squash) Primavera
Pre-heat the oven to 400*. Rinse one medium sized Spaghetti Squash and place the (whole) squash into a foil pan. Using a sharp knife, carefully pierce some holes in the skin of the squash (this allows the steam to escape while the squash is baking). Bake the squash, uncovered, for about 1 hour, turning it over half-way through baking. The squash is ready when a knife easily pierces the skin and goes through the flesh without resistance.
While the squash is roasting:
In a large (dairy or parve) non-stick fry pan, heat some oil. I prefer light tasting olive oil, but for Pesach, use any mild flavor oil you have.
To the heated oil, add one large onion, diced, and sauté, over medium heat, for about 5 minutes. To the onion, add 1 zucchini, unpeeled and chopped, and one seeded and chopped orange bell pepper. Add 2 cubes frozen parsley and 2 cubes frozen garlic, sprinkle black pepper and sprinkle oregano. Sauté all together for about 10-15 minutes, stirring often.
To the vegetables, add 1 box (6-8oz) mushrooms, cleaned and sliced, and sauté another 7 minutes or so. Add 1 plum tomato, diced, and sauté 5 more minutes. Turn off the flame. Add 1 tsp. sea salt to the vegetables, and mix well (if you don’t have sea salt, use regular table salt). (If you add the salt during the sautéing, it will extract excess water from the vegetables, which is not desired.)
When the squash is done, remove the pan from the oven. Using a sharp knife, slit the squash in half, lengthwise, allowing the steam to escape. When the squash is cool enough to handle, remove the seeds and scrape out all the flesh (which will sort of resemble spaghetti strands). Place the squash strands into a 9×13 foil pan, spreading them over the bottom of the pan.
Spread a layer of jarred “pizza” (or marinara) sauce over the squash strands. Top the sauce layer with the sautéd veggies, including any pan juices that have accumulated in the pan. Sprinkle a layer of grated parmesan cheese over the veggie layer, and then a layer of shredded cheese over the parmesan cheese. I used a “pizza cheese” shredded cheese mix: a mix of muenster and mozzarella cheeses. You can use whatever combination of cheeses you prefer (mozzarella and cheddar would be nice too) or just mozzarella if you like.
Tightly cover the pan and bake on 350* for 40 minutes. Remove from the oven and serve hot.
Don’t forget these other great Spaghetti Squash recipes, which are for Pesach and year round:
Enjoy, happy cooking and b’tay’avon!
Note: In regard to parmesan cheese, the following is from the OU Halacha Yomis email series. This is not intended to be a psak halacha, and is only for your information. As there is a machlokes ha’poskim in regard to eating meat after parmesan cheese, please consult your own rabbi!
Q. Do I need to wait six hours before meat after eating pizza? What about after eating eggplant parmesan?
A. Pizza is typically made with mozzarella cheese, which is aged for only one month and is not pungent. This is not considered a hard cheese, so there is no need to wait 6 hours.
The Yad Yehuda (YYK 89:30) maintains that one need not wait before meat after eating aged cheese that has been melted and mixed into a cooked food, such that the cheese is no longer noticeable. The OU’s poskim follow this opinion. Thus, if the pizza or eggplant parmesan is made with a combination of aged and non-aged cheeses, if the cheeses all melt together and are not independently noticeable, the leniency of the Yad Yehuda would apply, and one would not need to wait. However, if a pizza or eggplant parmesan was made exclusively with parmesan cheese, then one who eats this would need to wait.
As always, after eating any dairy food, even if the food is not made with aged cheese, one needs to clean and rinse his mouth and wash his hands before eating meat (Yoreh Deah 89:2); some people have the custom to wait half an hour or an hour after all dairy before meat regardless. (Hagahos HaGra Y.D. 89:6 quoting Zohar)