Monday, October 20

Good Eating Monday: Sausage/Pepper Stuffed Spaghetti Squash

Greetings on this lovely fall day!Today's Good Eating recipe is one I'm trying tonight that that I saw on Pinterest called, "Sausage & Peppers Stuffed Spaghetti Squash Boats."I bought a spaghetti squash, knowing I'd have Johnsonville Sweet Sausages left-over from Sunday's cookout, just so I could try this recipe.To me, most squash is bland tasting, so the challenge is always making it flavorful. While I find spaghetti squash fairly often quite tasty if it's seasoned right, I would never, ever try and pass it off as a real substitute for pasta. It's more like virtual spaghetti. Pasta is pasta and spaghetti squash is still squash and neither shall the twain meet.However, I have sausages to use and I love Italian, so I'm going to give it a go.

Sausage & Pepper Stuffed Spaghetti Squash Boats
1 (4 pound) spaghetti squash
2 tablespoons olive oil
Kosher salt and pepper, to taste
1 pound Italian sausage (spicy or sweet)
2 cups sliced bell pepper (or frozen pepper strips)
1 cup diced onions
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
1 (24 ounce) jar tomato/spaghetti sauce
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a rimmed baking sheet with a parchment paper.

Place whole spaghetti squash in the microwave for 5 minutes. ( I usually put a knife through it for ventilation first.) This helps slightly soften the squash so it's easier to cut open. Remove from the microwave and carefully cut in half, length wise. Scoop out the seeds and pulp from the middle. Drizzle each half with 1 tablespoon olive oil and season liberally with kosher salt and pepper. Roast for 1 hour or until the flesh of the squash will shred when scraped with a fork.

While the squash is cooking make the sauce that will stuffed the squash:In a large skillet set over medium high heat add sausage and break up while you stir. If the pan gets too dry simply drizzle in a little olive oil so the sausage does not stick to the bottom or burn.Once the sausage is lightly browned add in peppers and onions. Continue cooking until the sausage is fully browned and the vegetables are soft. Add in garlic and Italian spice. Cook until the garlic is fragrant, about 30 seconds. Pour in tomato sauce and simmer while the squash cooks. You are looking for a little of the water in the sauce to simmer away leaving a nice thick sauce.

Once the squash is fully cooked remove from the oven and carefully scrape and fluff the flesh until fully shredded. Lightly press down into the squash half and fill each squash half with half the sausage/sauce mixture. Top with cheese and place under the broiler for about 15 minutes to melt and brown the cheese.
Scoop out of the squash and serve. A 4 pound squash should give you enough for 4 servings, 2 servings per squash.
I've provided the whole recipe "as is." Though I, personally, am NOT going to serve it as "boats." (Like a twice-baked potato, I consider this too much trouble). Instead I'll just fluff the spaghetti squash out directly onto plates, top the squash with cheese, then with the  sausage/pepper sauce and a sprinkle of Parmesan. Basically, like regular spaghetti.
My after-dinner report: This was yummy.  Using the spaghetti squash lets you heap on the pork sausage/pepper sauce pretty much without guilt, because you're minus all those pasta calories. Also it's a way of getting more veggie into the diet.  I did add sliced baby Portabella mushrooms to the sauce and I did need to microwave the squash a bit more after baking to finish it off, as they didn't divide evenly and one half was thicker. 
Eat up, me hearties, yo-ho!

1 comment:

Lori said...

This sounds really good! I'm trying to cut down on red meat and pork though, but I would use turkey or chicken sausage. Glad it came out good!

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