Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Replacing Noodles with Squash

We keep getting lots of yellow summer squash in our CSA box, and I've been looking for creative ways to use it. Luckily, Alison Sherwood, of Post-College Kitchen blog on JSOnline recently blogged about using strips of summer squash in place of noodles in lasagna. I thought this sounded (and looked) delicious, so I wanted to give it a whirl.

I mostly followed what Alison did for her lasagna (check it out here), but made it a bit bigger. It seemed like I had a ton of squash, so I used a 9x13 pan.

Here is what I used and what I did.

Summer Squash Lasagna
-15 oz. part-skim ricotta cheese
-2 medium-sized summer squash
-about 1/2 cup basil, chopped
-1 egg
-about 1/3 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
-a little less than a 1/4 cup of grated pecorino romano
-about 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
-1 26.5 oz. can spaghetti sauce
-about half an onion chopped and sauteed in a bit of olive oil for about 5 minutes
-salt, pepper and crushed red pepper to taste

Slice squash lengthwise using a mandolin. (I let Nate do this--I'm not always so good with sharp things.) My slices were a bit thinner than the 1/4" Alison suggests. In small batches, microwave on a paper towel-covered plate for about 2 minutes on medium-high. Pat dry. Repeat with all squash.

Combine ricotta, egg, cheeses, basil and parsley in a small bowl. Use salt, pepper and crushed red pepper to taste.

Combine spaghetti sauce with onions.

In a 9x13 pan, spread a bit of spaghetti sauce. Place one layer of squash (can double squash like we had to do) and drizzle with olive oil. Spread some sauce on top. Then spread 1/3 of cheese mixture on top.

Repeat squash, sauce and cheese two more times, using up all the squash and cheese. Top with the last bit of sauce and some Parmesan cheese.

I made it up on Sunday and kept it in the fridge for dinner Monday night. We cooked the cold lasagna at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes (covered with foil) and then let it sit for about another 15.

It didn't come out on the plate so pretty, but it was really, really good--or, as Nate put it, "This is actually really good." Sure, it's not exactly the same as "normal" lasagna, but it's a nice change and healthier. It was a bit watery, but not really enough to make any changes next time. I think next time I make it I'll add more to it, such as sauteed spinach or mushrooms.


  1. that actually looks pretty tasty! i would've never thought you could substitute a freaking squash for noodles, but it seems to work! i wonder if there are other things you could use in place of noodles - tofu maybe? or bacon? :)

  2. Looks great! Glad you liked it. I'm sure a mandolin is way easier than slicing the squash by hand.