Roasted Spaghetti Squash with Sausage

Spaghetti squash in panFor the Thanksgiving potluck, I wanted to have something with squash for theme and season, but I also felt like showing off the home-made sausage I’ve started making since I got a meat grinder.  So this recipe from White on Rice was a great compromise! But since we also have at least one vegan in the group, I decided to also make a meat-less, cheese-less version. Both were very well received at the get-together.

Roasted Spaghetti Squash with Sausage OR Vegan Filling

Yield: Serves 3-4.  Total Time: 1 hour

From: http://whiteonricecouple.com/recipes/spaghetti-squash-sausage/. Try not to over cook the squash until it becomes overly soft.  It should still have a bit of a bite to the texture.  If pressed for time to make dinner, since the squash is warmed in the pan with the sausage at the end, one could always roast the spaghetti squash ahead of time and then quickly heat it with the sausage at dinner time.

Ingredients

Sausage Meat-01
Home-made sausage meat

Sausage Filling

(Garlic-fennel sausage from Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything.)

  • 2.5 lbs (1.1 kg) ground pork. If grinding yourself, which I recommend, use a fatty cut like pork shoulder or pork butt.

  • 2 tsp (10 mL) crushed or chopped garlic (or more)

  • 1 tsp (5 mL) fennel seeds

  • ¾ tsp (3-4 mL) kosher or sea salt

  • ½ tsp (2 mL) fresh ground pepper

  • ⅛ to ¼ tsp (0.5 to 1 mL) Cayenne pepper

Mix in by hand in small batches.  This yields way more sausage than you need for the recipe, so freeze the extra for another dish one of these days.

Bread filling
Bread filling

Bread Filling

Crumble some bread (I used home-made sourdough) and splash with a bit of olive oil. Mix in a good pinch of salt, ½ tsp (2 mL) fennel seeds, crushed or powdered garlic, and pepper. Allow to stand for at least 30 minutes.

Casserole

  • 1 spaghetti squash (about 3 lbs or 1.4 kg)

  • 2 Tbsp (30 mL) olive oil (divided in two parts)

  • 5 or 6 medium shallots, thickly sliced

  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed or finely minced

  • 3/4 lbs (350 g) uncooked sausage or bread filling

  • 1 cup (250 mL) coarsely grated Parmigiana Reggiano (optional)

  • 1 Tbsp (15 mL) finely chopped oregano, or other herb complementary to the sausage [like fennel for the above]

  • Kosher or sea salt, to taste

  • Fresh cracked black pepper, to taste

Spaghetti Squash
Roasted spaghetti squash

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Oil a sheet pan with first 1 Tbsp (15 mL) of olive oil. Slice spaghetti squash in half lengthwise. (Use the tip of the knife to first pierce and get the cut started. Once you get the first cut started the rest of the squash should slice easily.) Scoop out the seeds and strands, then place cut side down on the prepared sheet pan.
    NOTE: Edmund has made the brilliant suggestion that the garlic and shallots could be oven-roasted at the same time and that would probably be really good!  I’ll try it next time.

  2. Bake for 45 minutes, or until the squash flesh separates easily into strands with a fork. Finish loosening and removing the “spaghetti” from the shells and set aside.

  3. Onto a large sheet of butcher paper or similar, pinch and pull small balls of filling, laying them so they stay slightly separate.

  4. Shallots in pan-01
    Shallots and garlic in pan

    Heat a large sauté pan over medium heat. Heat second 1 Tbsp (15 mL) of olive oil in pan, then add shallots and garlic. Cook until soft, stirring every 30 seconds, then add filling. Cook untouched until bottom side of filling starts to brown, then stir. Continue cooking and stirring occasionally until the filling is cooked through (2-3 minutes depending on heat, type, and size of pieces).

  5. Add spaghetti squash strands to the filling and continue cooking until heated (usually less than a minute.)

  6. Fresh Oregano-01
    Fresh oregano

    Remove from heat. Toss in oregano or other herbs, and if you’re not making this vegan, the Parmigiana Reggiano.  Season with sea salt and fresh cracked pepper (remember the cheese will have a bit of “saltiness” to it already.) Serve immediately.

Photos by Sophie Lagacé 2013, licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 3.0.

Final-01

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