In my mind, squash is the champion of winter vegetable storage. Stuffed, mashed, pureed into soup, baked into sweet breads and pies, there are as many uses for squash as there are varieties. When giving up pasta, I was delighted to find that spaghetti squash provided a myriad of comfort foods to carry me through the winter. Spaghetti pie is something that was present at nearly every church potluck throughout my childhood and is the epitome of comfort food. This version, substituting yogurt cheese for cream cheese and spaghetti squash for the pasta, is easily accomplished as a quick weeknight dinner with some preparation the weekend before. I tend to spend one day of the weekend doing some of the more time-consuming cooking tasks in preparation for the week ahead, such as making yogurt, baked goods, etc. Squash can easily be baked over the weekend then stored in the refrigerator for use later in the week.

Spaghetti (Squash) Pie
Serves 4-6

1 large spaghetti squash
1 c SCD yogurt cheese (see below)
1 tsp salt
1 lb ground beef
1 jar spaghetti sauce (homemade or check for illegal ingredients)
½ c shredded provolone cheese

To prepare the spaghetti squash: Preheat the oven to 375. Cut the squash in half length-wise and remove the seeds and stringy flesh. Turn face down in a baking dish and add a small amount of water (just enough to cover the bottom of the baking dish). Cover the dish with foil and bake for 45 – 60 minutes or until fork tender.

To prepare the yogurt cheese: Follow the recipe for SCD yogurt, preferably using whole milk. After culturing and chilling, place the yogurt into a colander lined with a tea towel or cheese cloth. Allow the yogurt to drain in the refrigerator for 8 hours until it is the consistency of cream cheese.

For the pie:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Brown the ground beef until cooked through, then add the sauce and heat through. Meanwhile, scrape the flesh of the spaghetti squash into a bowl using a fork. Add the yogurt cheese and salt and mix well. Pour into a lightly greased 8×8 inch baking dish. Cover with the sauce (there may be some leftover) and the cheese. Cover and bake for 15 minutes, then remove the foil and bake until the cheese is bubbly and beginning to brown.