Spaghetti Squash Torta


I stumbled upon this Cara's Cravings recipe completely on accident via The Chihuahua Wears Pearls, but I'm glad that I did.  I was looking for a meatless meal that was different from things I normally make.  Something about this recipe struck me and I immediately added it to my menu for the week.  Since it was a little chilly on Tuesday anyway, I didn't mind having the oven on while the meal cooked.  I had never used a spring-form pan before until making this recipe, so I was really nervous that the whole torta would fall apart after taking the sides off the pan.  I think I should have let my torta cool for more like 10-15 minutes, rather than the 5-10 the recipe suggested because though it was mostly set, as soon as we cut into it, the torta started to smoosh together.  Oh well, this is still a delicious dish.  Even though it took a long time to cook (mostly because of the time to cook the spaghetti squash), this was an incredibly easy recipe.

1 medium Spaghetti Squash
2 teaspoons Olive Oil
1 medium Onion, chopped
8 ounces Baby Portobello Mushrooms, sliced
2 medium Zucchini, sliced
2 teaspoons Garlic, minced
2 teaspoons Italian Seasoning, divided (I used a mix of basil, parsley, and oregano)
1 1/2 teaspoons Fennel Seed (I omitted)
1 1/2 teaspoons Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
1 teaspoon Dried Basil
6 ounces Baby Spinach
1 Egg
15 ounces Ricotta Cheese
1/2 cup Asiago Cheese, shredded
2 cups Marinara Sauce
2 ounces Mozzarella Cheese, shredded

Pierce the spaghetti squash with a sharp knife and place it in a large baking dish with about an inch of water.  Roast in a 400 degree oven for about an hour.  Remove from the oven and let cool.  Cut the squash in half and scoop out the seeds.  Using a fork, remove the stringy flesh.  Place the squash in a large bowl and add the egg, ricotta, half of the asiago, and 1 teaspoon of the Italian seasoning.  Mix well and set aside.  Meanwhile in a large skillet coated with the oil, cook the onions over medium heat for about 10 minutes, until softened.  Add the mushrooms and zucchini, and continue to cook for another 5-10 minutes until they release their moisture.  Add the garlic, 1 teaspoon of Italian seasonings, and remaining spices.  Season with salt and pepper.  Raise the heat and cook until the garlic is fragrant, about 1 more minute.  Add the spinach, stirring until wilted, then remove from heat.  Lightly coat an 8- or 9-inch spring form pan with cooking spray.  Place half of the spaghetti squash mixture evenly on the bottom of the pan.  Top with half of the vegetable mixture and half of the sauce.  Repeat the layers and sprinkle the top with the remaining cheese.  Cover tightly with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.  Remove the foil and bake for an additional 5-10 minutes (I also put it under the broiler for a few minutes).  Let the torta stand for 10 minutes, then un-mold and slice.