Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Baked Spaghetti (Squash) Boats with Sausage

Dinner last night was a culinary adventure - which we all know can turn out great or awful. I was tackling an item I'd never cooked with before - a spaghetti squash - and I was a bit hesitant.

Dun dun dunnnnn.

Spaghetti squash has been all over the interwebs lately it seems - recipes on blogs, Pintrest, everywhere I look. I found a really nice-looking one at my local Global Foods, and decided to give it a whirl. I wasn't exactly inspired, though, and so it sat on our counter for a week and a half while I tried to figure out what to do with it. When I saw this post on Iowa Girl Eats, I knew I'd found just what I needed.

Last night, I wrestled the spaghetti squash, and I'm pleased to say that I won. This meal was delicious, and I will definitely be making it again! Highly, highly recommend this one. IGE did point out something about spaghetti squash - people tend to make it and get disappointed because the "noodles" aren't like "noodles." To that, I have to say "no shit, Sherlock" - it's squash. Squash noodles will not fool any rational pasta lover, so I wouldn't necessarily try to fool anyone. However, that doesn't mean it's not delicious! Go into this recipe knowing that you're eating squash, not pasta, and I don't see a problem.

Baked Spaghetti (Squash) Boats with Sausage
Slightly adapted from Iowa Girl Eats
Serves 2

  • One large spaghetti squash
  • One jar of spaghetti sauce (pick your fave)
  • One package of chicken sausage (I used this)
  • Shredded mozzarella
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Cooking Spray

Preheat the oven to 400* and prep the spaghetti squash. I used IGE's recommendation and, using  a sharp knife, poked 5-6 holes in the skin and then microwaved the squash on a plate for three minutes, turning over halfway through. Spaghetti squash is particularly thick, so the microwaving helps soften it a bit before you try to cut into it.

Cut the squash in half lengthwise. Honestly, this was a lot harder than I expected it to be - took me about five minutes and two very sharp knives, and I finally just broke it open when I got to the bottom. Be warned.

Scoop the insides out of the squash. I'm sure you could save and roast the seeds and all that jazz, but I did not. Place the squash halves, edible flesh up, on a foil-lined, cooking-spray-sprayed baking sheet. Season liberally with salt and pepper.

Roast the squash for 50-60 minutes.

When the squash is finished roasting, take it out of the oven and place on a cooling rack until it's cool enough to handle (probably 30 minutes or so). While you wait, cook the sausage and then slice on the diagonal to make bite-size pieces.

Shred the inside of the squash with a fork - it should come apart really easily and form the "noodles."
When both sides are shredded, transfer "noodles" to a mixing bowl and combine with desired amount of spaghetti sauce (~2/3 of the jar).

Split noodles between the squash shell "boats" evenly, then top each squash with half of the sausage. Top with a little more sauce and sprinkle with mozzarella and Parmesan.

Broil until cheese is melty and just starts to brown - watch carefully, because the squash shell can start to burn.

Transfer boats to plates and sprinkle with a bit more Parmesan and dried parsley. Serve with the world's easiest garlic bread *.

*See "recipe" below.

This recipe is one of those "sneaky" ones, where you get a lot of veggies and not a whole lot else, and it feels really decadent but is actually not that bad for you. This could be made with Italian sausage, crumbled ground beef or turkey - whatever you have on hand. Using the roasted garlic sausage really lent incredible flavor to the dish, but feel free to modify! We actually ended up with plenty for leftovers for lunch today - if we'd been starving, this would have just been dinner, but with the bread on the side, neither of us could finish. I'm excited to eat it again!

World's Easiest Garlic Bread

  • Bread
  • Butter
  • Garlic powder
  • Parmesan (the cheap, powdered kind is best!)

Spread bread with butter. Sprinkle on garlic powder and top with Parmesan. Broil until bread is toasted and parm starts to brown and melt. Enjoy!

The bread I used last night is seven-grain sourdough from Wegmans, and it is freakin' good.

1 comment :

blm said...

Thanks for sharing! Now I've finally got something to do with the squash that's been sitting on our counter (too long)!