spaghetti squash with sausage

Guess what?  I got a new job!  That’s right. I’m still a Fed, but now I’m officially a “contracts specialist”, and I’m thrilled.

So, I know that some psychologists and doctors might tell you not to celebrate special occasions (like a new job) with food.  Something about correlating food and happiness seems to disturb their sensibilities.  But clearly I don’t belong to that camp, and I love marking big moments with a great meal.  The unfortunate thing is that, as with starting any new job, I’ve been tired.  Dog tired.  Especially after my first day of work.  But still, I yearned for something really yummy and quick, even though all I wanted to do was put my feet up and watch some must-see TV.

The only solution to this clearly perplexing problem was to make Spaghetti Squash with Sausage. The whole meal takes 35 minutes to pull together, and that includes nuking the squash for 20 minutes!  GENIUS! And holy autumnal gourds, Batman, it is so delicious!  The spicy sausage (I used turkey) gives the dish some punch and the squash/onion/red pepper mixture adds a little sweetness to every spicy bite.  I love love love this recipe.  Make it, now!

Spaghetti Squash with Sausage

Courtesy of Food Network Magazine, November 2010

1 small spaghetti squash (about 2 lbs)

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

8 links hot Italian sausage (pork, chicken or turkey; 1 and 1/2 lbs)

1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced

1 medium onion, halved and thinly sliced

1 clove garlic, chopped

1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

Freshly grated parmesan cheese, for topping

1. Halve the squash lengthwise and scoop out the seeds.  Put the squash, cut-side up, in a large microwave-safe bowl and drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 tablespoon water.  Season with salt and pepper.  Cover tightly with plastic wrap and microwave until tender, about 20 minutes.  Scoop out the flesh into a colander (use a towel to hold the squash) and shred with 2 forks.

2. Meanwhile, heat a grill pan over medium heat.  Grill the sausages, turning, until cooked through, about 20 minutes.

3. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the bell pepper, onion and 1 teaspoon salt and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.  Add the garlic and cook until the vegetables begin to brown, about 4 more minutes.  Toss in the squash and parsley and season with salt and pepper.  Serve with the sausages and sprinkle with parmesan.

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