Three-Cheese Spaghetti Squash Boats
Hands-on Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour and 30 minutes
Makes: 2 servings
Total Carbohydrates: 11 grams per serving
This is an outrageously rich and decadent pasta-style dish—like a high-end mac and cheese—and everybody in my family is surprised by how much they like it. It is easily doubled, and quite adaptable, depending on your favorite cheeses. I love this particular combination, but you can swap in Swiss, American, gruyere, Jack, gouda, or mozzarella—using all one type or a combination. If you want to skip the herbs, then I recommend adding a tiny bit of ground nutmeg (1/4 teaspoon) to amp up the flavor of the cream mixture.
If you’re looking to:
Lower the fat: Use evaporated milk; use less cheese.
Lower the salt: Skip the salt.
1 medium-sized spaghetti squash
3/4 cup heavy cream, half and half, or evaporated whole milk
1/4 cup cream cheese
1/8 teaspoon each garlic powder and cayenne (or to taste)
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
½ cup grated parmesan
Chopped fresh herbs for garnish (basil, parsley, thyme, or chives) or add ½ teaspoon dried basil or thyme to the cream mixture
Heat the oven to 425 and line a rimmed baking sheet with foil or parchment paper.
Cut the squash in half lengthwise (this is not easy, and some people recommend microwaving it for 5 minutes first, which I have never tried). Use a spoon to scrape out all the seeds (you can roast these like pumpkin seeds, if you like). If you cut a little sliver off of the round side of the squash, the squash will balance better on the pan. (I usually forget.)
Rub the cut sides of the squash with oil, sprinkle it with lots of salt, and put the halves cut-side down on the baking sheet. Bake until just starting to soften—around 25 minutes.
Meanwhile, put the cream, cream cheese, seasonings, and ¼ teaspoon salt (or to taste) in a blender or food processor and whiz just until smooth.
Flip the squash over. Put half of the cheddar in each squash well, then divide the cream mixture between them. Top with the parmesan, cover with foil, and bake for 25 minutes.
Remove the foil and bake for 25 more minutes, until the cheese is bubbling and browning.
Cool five minutes, then top with herbs and serve. Encourage diners to scrape the squash into strands with their fork (two forks actually makes this easier) and stir them together with the sauce.