All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2016
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Farm Fresh To You sent me three little 8-Ball squashes this week – and I had a boatload of leftover pasta and so – this dish was born. I used the three eight ball squashes & a green & a yellow zucchini I had, too. The kind of squash is not important but the eight ball squashes do make a cute presentation. You can eat the flesh (and skin) of the eight ball squashes but I think this might be less pleasant if yours are very large. Mine were pretty small & got very tender in the oven.
I did stuff the yellow zucchini but ran out of stuffing for the green one & could not be bothered to make more – so – I just filled it with sauce. I used a teeny bit of real mozzarella on top & a really tiny bit of real Asiago in the filling but vegan cheeses would work just as well.
I used leftover pasta like this & the jarred sauce below. You can use any type of pasta & sauce you prefer – even homemade ones. You could add ground meat – like Beyond Meat Beefy Crumble to either the squash filling or your sauce – if you wanted to add protein to the dish.
Baked Stuffed Eight Ball Squash (or Zucchini) with Leftover Pasta (Vegetarian or Vegan)
12 oz cooked pasta
4 eight ball squashes (or 4 zucchini)
2 TBS olive oil
16 oz pasta sauce (or less but up to 16 oz – depending on how much sauce you like on your pasta)
1-6 garlic cloves
1 TBS fresh oregano – chopped (or 1 tsp dry)
1/4 cup mozzarella (or vegan mozzarella)
1/8 cup grated Asiago (or vegan Parmesan)
Garnish – chopped basil or parsley and maybe extra cheese (or vegan cheese)
Heat the oven to 400 degrees.
Cook the pasta & drain.
Cut the tops off the eight ball squash & carefully scoop out the flesh & set it aside. A melon-baller or grapefruit spoon might make that easier. If using zucchini – slice in half the long way & scoop out the seeds & flesh and set it aside.
Take about 1 cup of the cooked pasta & chop it a bit.
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet. Add the squash flesh & saute a minute or so. Add the garlic & oregano & stir. Add the CHOPPED pasta, 1/2 cup or so of pasta sauce stir. Add Asiago or vegan Parmesan & stir. Season with S&P & set aside.
Treat a cooking pan with cooking spray. Carefully stuff your peppers in the pan. Top each with a little more sauce, some grated mozzarella & then with the squash tops themselves. Bake for about 30 minutes or until the squash are tender & the cheese is warmed (and/or melted). If using zucchini – do the same thing – but there will be no little squash hats for the zucchini boats.
This next part is up to you. You can either boil water & put the remaining pasta in it for about a minute, just before you are ready to serve – or warm as much pasta sauce as you think you need for 2 servings & stir the pasta directly into it to reheat it. The advantage to heating the pasta & sauce separately is that you can better control how much sauce each serving gets – because some people like lots of sauce & others prefer less. This is your call.
Whatever you decide – when the squash is ready – plate some pasta & sauce on two plates & place two baked squash on top of each.
Garnish with basil and/or parsley & grated cheese.