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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Spaghetti Squash: Proof that Mother Nature was an Italian

It's mid-October now and I can't get my hands on enough squash. Butternut! Acorn! Baked, soups, sautee! 

Yesterday, I had a spaghetti squash laying around from last weekend's trip to Trader Joe's in Spokane (a somewhat rare and much joyous occasion). With an hour to go between me getting out of work and Rob needing a ride home from school, it seemed a perfect thing to prep while being kind of lazy about dinner, too. I needed something to cook while I FaceTimed with a friend. Then I could broil the last bits up after I was done making goofy faces in the little corner of her phone, because spreading joy is demanding like that.

Anyway, this Lasagna Stuffed Spaghetti Squash recipe was perfect for timing, but I was a little skeptical about blending marinara and cheese in a squash. Even if it is a spaghetti squash.

This recipe has changed my whole understanding of the versatility of a gourd. The added sweetness of the squash worked so well with the Italian flavors I had to wonder why I hadn't substituted every pasta dish I've ever had with this stuff. Plus, we got the extra veggie serving without the added carbs! Because let's be honest, a little side dish of green veggies isn't getting touched willingly when I eat hearty like this.

I adapted the recipe a little to fit what I had on hand, to limit the amount of cooking utensils I might have to dirty, and to shorten the amount of time I had to spend at the stove. Honestly though, I don't think you can mess this thing up. A spaghetti squash, like yours truly, is as buoyant as its Sicilian ancestors*. 

Meaty Stuffed Spaghetti Squash
  • 1 medium spaghetti squash
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/4 lb ground sausage
  • 1 small can tomato sauce
  • Oregano, basil, parsley
  • 1/2 cup part skim ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded part skim mozzarella cheese

  1. Preheat oven to 400. Slice spaghetti squash length wise and scrape out the seeds. Rub 1/4 tbsp olive oil into each squash half and season with salt and pepper. Place spaghetti squash half face down in a large baking dish and bake for 1 hour.
  2. In a large pan, sautee sausage until cooked. Add sauce and season with herbs. Simmer until thickened.
  3. When spaghetti squash is fully cooked, flip in the baking dish so that it is now skin side down. Spread ricotta in the indentation, and fill the rest with meat sauce. Top each half with mozzarella cheese.
  4. Turn oven to broil, and cook for an other 2 minutes, until cheese is browned and bubbling. 

*Yes, I realize spaghetti squash does not actually share my heritage.

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