Veggie Ricotta Pie with Spaghetti Squash Crust

spaghetti squash crusted tart

Yes, you read that right, spaghetti squash crust, now who would have thought? It works like a charm and it’s a great alternative to a flour crust for a quiche, tart, or in this case a savory ricotta pie.

This is such a nice, healthy vegetarian dinner, especially if you’re still working on your New Years resolution to eating better in 2016, but even if your not it doesn’t matter, this is still a delicious meal you can serve up  at anytime.

spaghetti squash crusted tart

Basically you cook your spaghetti squash, let it cool, then scrape out the strands with a fork. You can season your squash as you wish, I tossed in a little thyme, salt and pepper then pressed it into my greased pie plate with a sprinkling of grated romano cheese on top for added flavor.

spaghetti squash crusted tart

Spread your filling all over the top of the crust, this has ricotta, herbs and a variety of veggies I had leftover in my fridge. I folded some zucchini, red pepper, wild mushrooms, broccoli and a few sundried tomatoes into the ricotta, it’s that simple!

spaghetti squash crusted tart

Let it cool down a bit then slice into wedges and serve with a nice green salad on the side and you’ll have a completely satisfying, healthy and delicious dinner for all.

5.0 from 3 reviews
Veggie Ricotta Pie with Spaghetti Squash Crust
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 1 medium spaghetti squash
  • 2 cups of well drained ricotta
  • 1 garlic clove
  • fresh herbs
  • ¼ cup grated romano cheese, additional for sprinkling
  • ¼ to ½ cup of grated asiago cheese
  • 3 beaten eggs
  • assorted sauted veggies
  • salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Cut your squash in half, scoop out the seeds, drizzle each side with olive oil, salt and pepper. Place cut side down on foil lined baking sheet and roast til tender and slightly firm in a 375 degree oven, do not over cook it, it will have too much moisture, don't forget it's still going to bake in the oven again.
  2. After the squash cools down pull the strands out with a fork and season with fresh herbs of your choice.
  3. Press squash on the bottom and up the sides of a greased 9 inch pie plate, sprinkle with romano then set aside. while you make your filling.
  4. As far as veggies go, use what you have or your favorites. In my case I used a handful of mushrooms, red pepper strips, 1 zucchini, a handful of cooked broccoli florets and a couple of sundried tomatoes in oil.
  5. I sauteed the zucchini and pepper strips before I added them, the other veggies I used were precooked already.
  6. In a bowl add the ricotta, garlic, fresh herbs salt and pepper and cheeses, taste for seasoning.
  7. Beat the eggs by hand then pour into the ricotta mixture mixing until all incorporated, then fold in all your veggies.
  8. Pour the filling on top of your spaghetti squash crust and bake at 400 degrees until tip of knife comes out clean in the center, mine took about 40 minutes or so, but keep checking, everyone's oven is different.
  9. Let it cool down before cutting into wedges.

 

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Winter Salad with Squash and Hardy Greens

salad of squash and winter greens I don’t know about you but I’m in desperate need of some healthy salads now that the holidays are behind us, in fact I couldn’t wait to run out and buy a bunch of greens. I settled on three gorgeous heads of escarole and my favorite, cavolo nero or Tuscan kale.

I never thought of using escarole in a salad because I normally eat it cooked, in a soup or with beans but I thought these two hearty greens would hold up well together when I layered strips of roasted butternut squash on top along with roasted chickpeas, walnuts and a few other things, and I was right!

I’ve always been a kale fan for salads but now I’m a newly converted escarole salad fan. It’s crunchy, it stays crispy (which I love), it’s hardy and it has a very mild, and an ever so slight bitterness that balanced out the buttery sweet squash. Please give it a try, you won’t be disappointed and besides,it’s really nice and refreshing to break away from the norm.

butternut squash shards

I love making shards of butternut squash and then roasting them, they look so pretty in a salad or tossed into some pasta, in a frittata or on top of a pizza. I try to buy a squash that has a long neck, because basically that’s the part you’ll be using for this. Remove the skin first with your vegetable peeler then continue making strips turning the neck part as you go.

Toss them gently in a little olive oil, salt and pepper and roast in a 400 degree oven, keep watching, they could burn quick. Sometimes I move them to the top rack to get rid of some of the moisture and keep a better eye on them.
salad of squash and winter greens

Let the squash cool down before you add it to the salad. There’s no real recipe here, just a list of ingredients that I used and that I could honestly say was so delicious and went very well together.

Along with the kale, escarole and butternut squash shards, I added roasted chickpeas, feta cheese, toasted walnuts and pomegranate seeds all tossed together with a vinaigrette made of olive oil and white balsamic.

This salad is hardy, healthy and just perfect to finish out the cold winter months, and don’t forget you can follow along with me on Instagram to see what I’m cooking up during the week!

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Shrimp and Lobster Ravioli with a Limoncello Cream Sauce

shrimp and lobster ravioli with limoncello cream sauce

I thought I’d make something special to bring in the new year, how about shrimp and lobster ravioli with a luscious  limoncello cream sauce?  It’s so full of flavor, not too heavy, and the light limoncello sauce just enhances all the chunky seafood tucked inside. It’s elegant and perfect for New Years Eve!

The effort to create this dish is well worth the time, it’s something you would make for a smaller group, maybe two couples or a romantic dinner for two. You may not have the time to make it right now, although it really doesn’t really take that long, please keep it in your memory bank for a future special occasion or upcoming Valentines Day.
shrimp and lobster ravioli with limoncello cream sauce

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you’re not a fan of limoncello no worries, you can simply make a lemon cream sauce, equally as amazing!
cooking lobster

It may sound decadent or a little extravagent but it’s really not that expensive to make at all.  I bought two small lobster tails, six dollars each and one pound of shrimp and I was able to make thirty one ravioli that were packed nice and full.shrimp and lobster filling for ravioli

The filling is easy to make, you chop up your pre-cooked lobster and shrimp then quickly saute in a pan with garlic, olive oil and shallots. When that mixture cools down you fold in a little ricotta, mascarpone and chopped parsley.

making shrimp and lobster ravioli

You can either roll out your dough by hand, which is a little time consuming, or use a crank style pasta machine which works really well, or this handy pasta attachment to your Kitchen Aid, which will speed things up a bit, either way will work. After the pasta sheets are rolled out then cut your pasta into a three inch circle.

shrimp and lobster ravioli

Once you get the dough rolling, everything moves really fast, just fill and crimp!

shrimp and lobster ravioli

After one bite you’ll know it was worth all the effort, I promise.

shrimp and lobster ravioli with tomato cream sauce

I’ve also served this with a tomato cream sauce, easy to make by stirring some cream into your marinara, either way you choose I know you’ll love it!

Wishing you all a very Healthy and Happy 2016! Thank you for all your support this past year, all your comments, emails and friendships mean the world to me, and don’t forget you can always see what I’m cooking up during the week on Instagram!

5.0 from 2 reviews
Shrimp and Lobster Ravioli with a Limoncello Cream Sauce
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • RAVIOLI DOUGH
  • 2 cups unbleached flour
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • a little dribble of water until the dough comes together
  • additional egg for egg wash
  • FILLING
  • 2 small lobster tails, pre-cooked and chopped in small chunks
  • 1 lb of medium shrimp, pre-cooked and chopped into small chunks, when combined you should have 2 heaping cups of lobster/shrimp meat
  • 2 garlic cloves, diced
  • 1 large shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon, limoncello, or lemon juice
  • ¼ cup of ricotta
  • 1 heaping tablespoon, mascarpone cheese
  • 2 teaspoons, chopped parsley
  • LIMONCELLO CREAM SAUCE
  • 4 Tablespoons of limoncello
  • 2 or 3 tablespoons of lemon juice
  • 1 stick of unsalted butter
  • heavy cream to thicken it up
Instructions
  1. The dough comes together really fast when made in a food processor, put the dry ingredients in and pulse, then put wet ingredients down the tube and process until the dough forms a ball. You can also make it by hand. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and let it rest for 20 minutes. This one batch will make about 30 ravioli.
  2. Pre-cook both lobster and shrimp, then cut into small chunks.
  3. Add olive oil to saute pan, then add garlic and shallot, cook for a couple of minutes, then add in seafood and parsley, toss til coated, then let it cool down.
  4. Put the cooled down mixture into a bowl and add in the ricotta and mascarpone
  5. Roll out your dough and cut into 3 inch circles, brush top with egg wash and place a heaping teaspoon of filling on top.
  6. Fold dough circle in half, into a half moon, and crimp edge with a fork.Place them onto a sheet pan, ready to boil or to be frozen. Freeze them on sheet pan, individually then place into ziplock bag.
  7. For the sauce, simmer the limoncello and lemon juice together, or just plain lemon juice, then whisk in the butter until well incorporated, then pour in a little cream for thickness. You're just spooning on the sauce, not drenching it in sauce. You can double this and make more if you desire.

 

 

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