Back in the days before I was gluten free, and now paleo, one of my favorite restaurant dishes was the five cheese baked ziti at Olive Garden. As I have mentioned before, I have a long standing love affair with cheese so the higher the number of cheeses in a dish’s name the better! Every time my husband and I would go to Olive Garden my delicious plate of baked ziti would arrive at the table, he would look at the parmesan cheese grater and say “wanna make it 6 cheese ziti?” Obviously, the answer was always yes. While my days of frequenting Olive Garden are over, my love of the concept of cheesy pasta baked with more cheese on top has remained. This is the origin of my baked spaghetti spaghetti squash recipe. It still doesn’t totally compare to my old Olive Garden usual, but it is easy, tasty and simple. I don’t have children so I can’t say for certain, but I am fairly sure that this would be a kid-friendly grain-free recipe as well. Give it a try and let me know what you think. I apologize that the quantity of ingredients is not more precise, this is definitely one of those recipes that is easier to eyeball than to measure.
1 medium-large spaghetti squash
1/2-3/4 Jar of your favorite pasta sauce
1 Small Container or Ricotta Cheese
Shredded Cheddar Cheese
Poke a fair amount of holes in your spaghetti squash with a fork or a knife. Cook in the microwave for approximately 20 minutes or until the skin is soft. Remove your spaghetti squash and cut it in half. Leave it to cool slightly. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Combine your pasta sauce and ricotta cheese in a small saucepan. If you like to “doctor up” your pasta sauce add any additional spices or seasoning now. Once the spaghetti squash has cooled enough for you to touch it scoop out and throw away the seeds. Then use a fork to scoop out the strands of squash into a 9×13 casserole dish. When all of your squash is scooped out pour your sauce into the casserole dish as well and stir to combine. Then, cover the top of the dish with your shredded cheddar cheese. This is definitely a matter of preference, but you want it to be enough to melt into a layer on the top. Place the casserole dish into the oven and bake for approximately 15 minutes, or until the cheese begins to bubble. Remove, scoop into bowls and serve.