Tomato Basil Spaghetti Squash Bake

Tomato Basil Spaghetti Squash Bake

Weather: 25 degrees, getting darker every day
What I’m listening to: 
Song for a Winter’s Night, Sarah McLachlan

Ok folks, I have a problem. I have what I’m calling the Food Blogger Cookbook Curse. You see, we have a lovely community library. And in said library, there are several shelves full of cookbooks. I could stand there all day browsing and perusing and relaxing amidst the cookbook stacks. But this is not my problem.

Tomato Basil Spaghetti Squash Bake

Tomato Basil Spaghetti Squash Bake

My problem is this – I am no longer able to try  a cookbook recipe that does not include at least one photo. I’m like Alice from Disney’s 1951 version of Alice in Wonderland: “How can one possibly pay attention to a book with no pictures in it?”  Foolish girl, I used to think. Until I became the cookbook version of her. Gasp.

Of course, there are dozens of classic cookbooks, cornerstones of the field, that contain no photographs and only the occasional hand-drawn illustration or two (my grandmother’s old copy of The Joy of Cooking comes immediately to mind). There is so much to be learned and gleaned from these treasures, and yet, I’m scared to death of them. I cannot stomach the thought of trying a classic recipe and not having even the foggiest idea what it’s supposed to look like. How would I ever know if I got it right or wrong? By taste alone, you say? It almost seems preposterous.

And this is all because I’m a food blogger – I am now ruined for the photo-less recipe. And perhaps, by virtue of my work, I am ruining you, too. I might be giving you the Food Blogger Cookbook Curse. It might be contagious. Proceed with caution. Enter at your own risk.

Tomato Basil Spaghetti Squash Bake

Seriously though, good food was around long, long before good photographs. A couple years from now today’s photos will no longer be viewed as “good photos” but that doesn’t make the food any less good. Tomorrow I’m going back to the library, back to my favorite stacks. And I’m going to challenge myself to pick up a classic or two, check them out, bring them home, and spend some quality time with them. Because there is so much more to learn.

By the way, this spaghetti squash bake is fab – garlic, olive oil, fresh basil, parmesan, tomatoes, and mozzarella all baked together with tender roasted squash. We enjoyed it as a light, meatless dinner with a spinach salad. It would also make a very tasty side dish. In the photo just above, I finished it with a drizzle of good balsamic.

Tomato Basil Spaghetti Squash Bake

Yield: 4 sevings

Tomato Basil Spaghetti Squash Bake

Ingredients

  • 1 whole spaghetti squash, roasted, seeds removed, and scooped out (I roasted mine whole for easier handling, see here)
  • 2T extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/4c fresh basil leaves, finely sliced
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/4c parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 whole ripe tomato, sliced
  • 1/2c mozzarella cheese (or more if you prefer)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375. Lightly grease an oblong shallow casserole dish (or similar).
  2. To a mixing bowl, add the cooked squash "noodles," olive oil, garlic, basil, a generous amount of salt and pepper, and the parmesan cheese. Toss to coat (more olive oil can be added if needed - you want it moist, but not dripping). Spread mixture into the casserole dish. Lay tomato slices on top and season them lightly with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese and a little bit more freshly grated parmesan. Bake 25-30 minutes or until cheese is bubbly and beginning to brown. Serve promptly (a drizzle of balsamic and some more fresh basil on top is tasty, but optional).
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Tomato Basil Spaghetti Squash Bake

11 comments
Melanie K
Melanie K

What size is your cassarole dish??

Maricela63
Maricela63

OMG all your vegetarian dishes look amazing!  I would love to add your recipes to my daily meal plans, but there are no nutritional values on any of them. Do I maybe need to go through your website in order to get the nutritional values? Thanks for ALL your postings and recipes!

Donna J
Donna J

I must say, I have been on a lot of cooking sites, but this one have caused me to fall in love. I say this mainly because of your words about the pictures in the cookbook which I totally relate. Even with the "Joy of Cooking" book. I thought it was me. Now I no longer feel guilty about not wanting to use the cookbooks so much because there were no pictures. You really do need to see what it should look like up front. I was looking for a key lime cake recipe when I found this site. What got me was the word "scratch". All these recipes claiming to be the best when they are made from a box. Its just plain wrong. And now to know that I can cook a spaghetti squash and not struggle with cutting it first, is pure genius. I thought I was just weak. I have not tried the recipes yet, but just looking at the pictures are enough to make me want to try many of them. I want to thank you for keeping it real for those of us who remember what it means to cook from scratch and create something that required thought, time, caring, and patience before it was put in a book or on a website. I believe I have found a home. Thank you!

 

JuliaMueller
JuliaMueller

Gotta say, I feel the same way about recipes - I need to visualize it before I make it.  I'll still make recipes without photos, but I feel much more confident about a recipe if I see it first.  Your baked spaghetti squash looks to die for! I love squash of all forms and have not tried baking spaghetti squash yet. This is such a healthful and satisfying dish!

amymhayse
amymhayse

@AlaskaScratch mmmmm, excited about this one sister! Looks so tasty.

Emily from Jelly Toast
Emily from Jelly Toast

Maya, I am the same exact way! Unfortunately, I was like that before my blog, too, eek. What can I say? I love a drool worthy pic. Speaking of which, this spaghetti squash looks awesome!

Lemon Sugar
Lemon Sugar

Amen, sister!  I won't buy a cookbook anymore unless there is at least one photo per recipe.  I'm sure I'm missing out on some amazing recipes...but you're right, it's totally a curse.  :)  

 

PS - this looks amazeballs.  Can't wait to try it!

alaskafromscratch
alaskafromscratch moderator

 @JuliaMueller Thanks, Julia! You can't go wrong with cheese, tomatoes, garlic, and basil! And I'm happy to hear that you have trouble with the Food Blogger Cookbook Curse, too. :)

AlaskaScratch
AlaskaScratch

@amymhayse Thanks... yummy and easy, too. :) QT:@AlaskaScratch mmmmm, excited about this one sister! Looks so tasty.

alaskafromscratch
alaskafromscratch moderator

 @Lemon Sugar Yeah it's a real problem, but I'm so happy to hear you are the same way! :) I really am going to try to challenge myself today... I'll post a Instagram pic of what I pic up. Thanks, Erin!