I’ve been thinking long and hard about spaghetti squash lately. Long strands of amber, delicately tangled; the soft chew before it melts in my mouth. This daydream was all-consuming.
Soon thereafter, I began formulating the plan for turning my spaghetti squash fantasy into reality. I wanted to preserve its’ natural earthy flavor but also pair it with something mildly sweet, like red garnet potatoes. And, without argument, it would all bathe in a luscious, ambrosial liquid of cream and cheese. What I wanted, what I really wanted, was a gratin.
When everything was said and done I took a bite.
It was. Incredible.
The spaghetti squash was tender, yielding effortlessly beneath the weight of my spoon. Deeper still were the soft layers of potato– a duo of red and sweet, submerged in an herby cream sauce, a luxurious layer of sliced triple cream brie separating the two. I’m going to say this at the risk of sounding very cliché, but…it was an orchestra of flavors. I think I cried.
- 3 1/2 pound spaghetti squash (about 4 cups spaghetti squash strands)
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 cup evaporated milk
- 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
- 1/4 cup freshly chopped parsley
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 3/4 pound red garnet sweet potato, peeled
- 3/4 pound red potato, peeled
- 8 ounces triple cream Brie cheese, rind removed, sliced
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
- Pierce the spaghetti squash all over and put on the baking sheet; bake for about 60-80 minutes or until fork tender. Let cool before cutting in half lengthwise and scooping out the seeds. Shred flesh with a fork to make strands.
- Butter a 9x13 baking dish.
- In a medium-sized saucepot set over medium-low heat, pour in the heavy cream, evaporated milk, 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, parsley, garlic, butter, salt, and pepper.
- Using a mandolin set to 1/8" thickness or a knife, slice the potatoes thin and place into the saucepot with the cream. Let this come to a slight bubble; approximately 5-7 minutes.
- Layer the bottom of the baking dish with the sweet potatoes. Add half of the spaghetti squash. Scatter Brie slices all over. Add a layer of red potatoes, and then finish with last of spaghetti squash. Sprinkle with remaining Parmesan cheese.
- Bake in the oven for about 60-80 minutes, until sauce is bubbly, top is golden brown, and potatoes are super fork tender.
- Let stand about 5 minutes before serving. Add additional parsley, if desired.
If you choose, you can omit the evaporated milk and use all heavy cream or vice versa.
// More gratins, quiches, and tarts: