Kids’ Squash and Cheese
This recipe comes from my sweet friend Molly. Molly and her husband, John, run Apricot Lane Farms in Southern California. (SERVES 6) / PREPARATION TIME: 45 minutes
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for the dish, 1⁄2 cup heavy cream, 1 teaspoon Celtic sea salt, 1⁄2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, Dash of cayenne, Dash of, ground nutmeg, 1 1⁄2 cups shredded white Cheddar cheese, 3 cups cooked spaghetti squash (see Note), 2 Roma (plum) tomatoes, cut into 1⁄8-inch slices, 1⁄2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese, and 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and adjust the rack to the middle position. Butter an 8 x 11-inch baking dish.
2. Place the butter, cream, salt, pepper, cayenne, and nutmeg in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally (be careful not to scald the cream). Whisk in the Cheddar cheese, stirring constantly until melted. Remove from the heat. Stir in the spa¬ghetti squash, mixing until all the squash is coated with cheese sauce.
3. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish and spread it out evenly. Arrange the sliced tomatoes on the squash and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Drizzle the olive oil over the casserole and bake for 50 minutes, or until the tomatoes are roasted and edges are just turning golden brown. Cool for 10 minutes and serve.
PALEO/DAIRY-FREE ADAPTATION: Use 1 cup Savory Cashew “Cheese” in place of the cream, salt, pepper, cayenne, nutmeg, Cheddar, and Parmesan. Instead of the directions above, melt 2 tablespoons coconut oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the cashew cheese and stir until incorporated. Stir in the spaghetti squash. Pour the mixture into a buttered 8 x 11-inch baking dish. Arrange the sliced tomatoes over the squash. Drizzle the olive oil over the casserole. Bake for 50 minutes, or until the tomatoes are roasted and the edges are just turning golden brown. Cool for 10 minutes and serve. / NOTE: To bake spaghetti squash, preheat the oven to 400°F. Cut the squash in half, pole-to-pole. Scoop out the seeds with a large spoon and discard. Place the squash halves cut side down in a large baking dish. Prick the skin with a fork 10 times on each side. Bake for 1 hour. Use a fork to pull the flesh of the squash into “spaghetti,” then mea¬sure it to use in the recipe. You can also serve it plain with a little butter, salt, and pepper or with marinara sauce.