Monday, October 13, 2014

Sausage Stuffed Spaghetti Squash


Recently I received a spaghetti squash in my Fresh Fork bag. I'm crazy about all kinds of squash but I've always shunned spaghetti squash. I think I got turned off when people started spooning spaghetti sauce on top and claiming it was just like pasta. Um, yeah, in your dreams! It's never been one of my favorite squashes because of its mild (bland!) flavor and the stringy texture that gives it its name. But I'm not one to give up on a veggie so easily and I hate to waste food. 

So to the Internet I turned. My friend Bite Buff featured a delicious sounding recipe for chicken enchilada stuffed spaghetti squash on her blog. But making it would have entailed a trip to the grocery store. I finally settled on a recipe from Epicurious for inspiration because I had all the ingredients and I liked the idea of all the ingredients being mixed together instead of the dish trying to pose as pasta. 

The squash, pepper, tomato, and sausage are from Fresh Fork so if you have trouble figuring out how to use up everything from your bag, this recipe is for you. Our marinara and cheese were from Alesci's and were leftover from making pepperoni bread.

It was a huge hit! Super easy, quick to fix and crazy good. It's a keeper for sure. I've officially added spaghetti squash my yum list. 
Sausage Stuffed Spaghetti Squash
1 spaghetti squash
1 lb sausage
1/2 t. dried pepper flakes
1 bell pepper
2 handfuls spinach
1 tomato
1 medium onion
1 1/2 cups marinara sauce
1 cup shredded mozzarella/provolone cheese

First cut your squash in half lengthwise to make two "boats." Remove seeds. You can roast them like pumpkin seeds, toss them outside for the squirrels, compost them or throw away. Sprinkle the cuts sides with salt. Place cut side down in a baking dish. Add about a 1/2" of water. Bake at 400 until tender. The timing will depend on the size of your squash. Mine took about 40 minutes. If you prefer, you can zap them in the microwave until tender too.

While the squash is baking, cook sausage in a non-stick skillet. If it's fatty, drain. Chop and add: pepper flakes, bell pepper and onion. Cook until tender. Add spinach and tomato and stir until spinach is wilted.

After the squash is soft, let cool long enough so you can handle them. Use a fork and scrape out the flesh into a colander. (Be sure to keep the squash halves intact.) You want to drain the cooked squash to remove excess liquid and keep your dish from being soggy.

Remove skillet from heat. Stir in marinara sauce and salt/pepper to taste.
Place mixture into reserved squash shells. Bake at 400 for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle with shredded cheese. Return to oven until cheese is golden brown.
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That's it! Told you it was easy. And wait 'til you taste it - yum!

One of the best things about this recipe is that you really don't have to measure and it's flexible enough so you can use up other veggies (kale, mushrooms, zucchini, etc) and experiment with the meat. I think it would be really good with chorizo or a chicken sausage too. 

What's your favorite spaghetti squash recipe?