A very long name for a very simple dish. Comfort food at its finest but make it healthy. A little bit like Lasagna, but with a fall twist to it. Roasted pumpkin with creamy ricotta-bolognese filling, tangy pesto and a little molten cheese on top! Sounds pretty good right?
What is Spaghetti Squash?
Spaghetti Squash is a type of squash (or pumpkin) that originated in North and Central America. The US also is where it became very famous first! Why? What it is being baked, you can basically scrap the pumpkin „meat“ with a fork and get a texture very similar to spaghetti. These pumpkin spaghetti also look very similar to the real ones. The similarities are what made this pumpkin be so popular. It is commonly used as a replacement for pasta in many dishes, since it is incredibly low in calories, and therefore gained popularity!
What is special about this dish?
You have to know, it is like a pasta bake kind of dish. Just without the pasta. You still have a similar texture as in pasta, and get that whole pasta feeling because of the looks and the sauce, the spaghetti squash comes with but it is a much lighter version of a pasta bake. More vitamins and fibre, less calories and carbohydrates. It is really fun to switch this up a little once in a while.
And also, there is not just pumpkin, bolognese and cheese, but we have this amazing pesto ricotta swirl that really does take this dish next level. It adds so much flavour, creaminess and goodness to this whole dish, which is just amazing!
Is this dish healthy?
Yes-ish. As a base we have a vegetable, with lots of Vitamin B, C and fibre. This already makes it really nutritious! (You can read more about pumpkin in my November top 5 blog post!). I would definitely say that any dish that has a vegetable as a base is healthy (at least healthyish) because it is nutritious.
Then the filling: this is not super duper nutritious but it is not unhealthy. The sauce. I love to use a vegetarian bolognese because it is more nutritious in most cases. Also, I feel like it lightens up the dish plus it tastes amazing. I know, you may now be thinking, hm not sure about that! And I agree, there can be boring pasta sauces! Definitely! But not the one I like to use! If you have been following me for a while, you know that I have been moving to use the products from Pastafani because they produce delicious, high quality pasta products with Austrian ingredients. I tried out their vegan Bolognese and I need to say, with honestly, that it really is delicious! You can find it here and even get 10% discount on it with the code UNEPETITE10 ! I can only say that it definitely is worth a try!
So back to whether it is healthy or not. The base, yes. The sauce, depends on what you are using. A veggie bolognese, yes! A meat bolognese I would say healthy-ish. Then we have the ricotta and pesto (which you by the way can also get a super delicious one at Pastafani!)! Ricotta I would say is not super nutritious but also not unhealthy. It is higher in protein and lower in calories than regular cream cheese. Plus, super good for the soul 🙂 The pesto is high in vitamins and healthy fats, and it is green (doesn’t that basically already mean that it is healthy?). Then we just top it off with some cheese, not very nutrient dense but you know, a little cheese never hurt nobody.
How to make this?
This is not challenging at all. We start by preparing the spaghetti squash. For this cut it into half, season with a bit of olive oil, salt & pepper and roast in the oven. In the meantime we heat up the sauce. When the squash is done, we need to tear the „spaghettis“ from it. This is done by taking a fork and scrapping the pumpkin meat off the sides.
Now we just pour in the sauce, add a few dollops of ricotta and pesto, swirl everything around so it looks nice and marbled, top it with some cheese and bake it again. That’s all it takes to make this super delicious meal!
I genuinely hope that you will enjoy this recipe at least as much as I do and that you will make it on repeat! It is a delicious, comforting meal for cozy weeknights and weekends!
Oven Roasted Bolognese Stuffed Spaghetti Squash with Swirled Pesto Ricotta
Comforting, Healthy, easy & delicious! A lighter version of a pasta bake, with seasonal ingredients: Baked pumpkin with a creamy bolognese, ricotta and pesto filling!
What you will need
- 1 kg spaghetti squash
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- salt & pepper
- 300 g (veggie) bolognese sauce
- 100 g ricotta
- 3 tbsp pesto
- 50 g cheese
Preheat the oven to 180°C. Cut the spaghetti squash in half lengthwise. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake for 35-40 minutes until the meat is soft.
In the meantime heat up the bolognese and season the ricotta with salt and pepper.
When the squash is done baking, take it out of the oven. Grab a fork and scratch off the pumpkin "meat" from the edges. This will create a spaghtti like look.
Pour in the bolognese sauce, divide the ricotta and add the pesto. Swirl everything together, so it is all combined and creates a marble-like look. Top with the cheese and bake for another 5-q0 minutes at 200°C until the cheese has molten.
Serve & Enjoy!
Katie // Une Petite Cuisinière