Saturday, October 3, 2009

Squash au gratin

This is a perfect side dish for a special dinner, or you can bake it in individual casseroles and have it as a main dish too!


Good olive oil, for frying
3/4 pound yellow squash, unpeeled, sliced 1/2-inch thick
1/4 cup ricotta cheese
1 extra-large egg
1/4 cup half-and-half
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup good bottled marinara sauce


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Heat about 1/8-inch of olive oil in a very large frying pan over medium heat. When the oil is almost smoking, add several slices of squash and cook, turning once, until they are evenly browned on both sides and cooked through, about 5 minutes. Be careful, it splatters! Transfer the cooked squash slices to paper towels to drain. Add more oil, heat, and add more squash until all the slices are cooked.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix together the ricotta, egg, half-and-half, 1/4 cup of the Parmesan, 1/8 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper.

Place a layer of squash slices on the pan you'll be making the gratin, then sprinkle with Parmesan, salt and pepper and spoon 1/2 of the marinara sauce. Next, add a second layer of squash, more salt and pepper, half the ricotta mixture, and finally 1 tablespoon of grated Parmesan on top.

Place the gratin on a baking sheet and bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until the custard sets and the top is browned. Serve warm.

Source: Adapted from Barefoot Contessa

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