Thursday, July 27, 2017

Twice-Baked Spaghetti Squash with Pesto and Parmesan

This was another way to use up some of that 3# bag of chicken that thawed in the freezer last week.  Kathleen and I are the only spaghetti squash lovers and this was a HIT!  My changes/additions are in bold.
Twice-Baked Spaghetti Squash with Pesto, Bacon, Chicken and Parmesan
adapted greatly from

1 large spaghetti squash (6-8 lbs.)
1-2 T olive oil Beth used more than this
1-2 tsp. Italian Herb Blend (or use other seasoning of your choice)
3 T basil pesto (more or less to taste)
about 1 cup + 1/4 cup coarsely grated Parmesan cheese
salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
chicken, cooked and cubed
3-4 pieces bacon, cooked and crumbled
1/2-1 c whipping cream(depending how big your squash is)

Preheat oven to 400F/200C. Wash outside of spaghetti squash if it's dirty, then cut squash in half lengthwise. Use a sharp pointed spoon to scrape out seeds and stringy gunk that's around the seeds.

Cut ends off squash if desired, then rub inside surface with a small amount of olive oil and Italian Herb Blend. Put squash on baking sheet that you've sprayed with non-stick spray. Roast squash, starting to check after about 40 minutes and removing when squash is still firm but strings apart fairly easily into spaghetti-like strands. (It took about 50 minutes for the large pieces of squash I had.)Beth cooked this whole in the microwave for 15-20 minutes until soft.  THEN, I cut it in half and discarded the seeds.  I removed the 'noodles" and tossed them with oil and seasonings.

Let squash cool a few minutes if needed, then scrape out strands into a plastic bowl or baking pan and discard skins. Gently mix in pesto, 1 cup of coarsely grated Parmesan cheese, chicken, bacon and whipping cream.  Season with salt and fresh ground black pepper, then pour squash/cheese mixture into a gratin dish and top with 1/4 cup more Parmesan cheese.

Bake 20-30 minutes more, until mixture is slightly bubbling and cheese is melted and starting to brown. Serve hot.

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