Roasted Spaghetti Squash Pasta

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Oh, the unassuming spaghetti squash. What ever did we do with you before we found out what a great pasta alternative you are? I haven’t a clue but I do know exactly what to do with you now!

It took some time though. I haven’t always loved this squash. It has tasted rather bland to me in the past. I believe I have it figured out now – thank goodness. The key is to mix the cooked squash with caramelized onions and garlic – don’t keep them separate. That’s it. Simple but important. No spaghetti squash dish can go wrong as long as you mix it with the onions and garlic. Trust me!

Spaghetti squash is great for the gluten free crowd. We are decidedly NOT gluten free in our family. The time may come someday but not today. However, we do try to find ways to limit our intake as much as possible to only organic and sprouted whole grain wheat. So using the spaghetti squash is perfect for us and our gluten free friends.

Even if you are not gluten free it is still a good idea to use this instead of regular pasta. Why? Well, spaghetti squash is decidedly more nutritious than pasta. It also has less calories, less carbohydrates and much more fiber.

Tips:

  • Cook the spaghetti squash with the open side down on the pan. This gives the edges a nice roasted brown appearance and adds flavor.
  • Use any pasta sauce of your liking. Your own homemade or store bought. Since I usually make this for a quick meal, I grab a jar of roasted garlic tomato sauce out of the pantry. A puttanesca or marinara would also pair well.
  • Cook the squash the night before (or on Sunday – if you prep your meals for the week) to have a shorter 20-30minute cook time.
  • If you cook the squash ahead of time, place it in an oven safe container and warm it up at 300˚F while prepping and cooking the onions and sausage.
  •  If you have time, it’s worth it to cook the sausage separate. You have a better ability to brown the surfaces and this adds a lot to the overall flavor.

How long till it’s ready: About one hour (within 30 minutes if you cook the squash before hand).

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Roasted Spaghetti Squash Pasta

Yield: six servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 spaghetti squash
  • 1 large onion – diced
  • 3 cloves garlic – minced
  • 2 Tofurky Italian sausages – diced into cubes
  • 1 Tbs. dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp. chili flakes
  • 4 large Kale leaves – stems removed, chopped into small pieces
  • 1/2 cup of kalamata olives – sliced
  • Your favorite pasta sauce
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • basil – for garnish and taste

Preheat the oven to 400˚F. Cut the squash in half and scrape out the seeds with a spoon. Drizzle with olive oil and rub onto flesh. Place cut side down onto a rimmed baking sheet and cook for 40 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside until it is cool enough to remove the spaghetti.

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While the squash is cooking; dice the onion and sausage and set aside. Mince the garlic. Measure out the oregano and chili flakes.

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Slice the kalamata olives. Rinse and de-stem the kale. Shred by hand or chop into small pieces.

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Coat the bottom of a pan with olive oil on medium-high heat.

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Once hot, add the onions and sausage. Sauté for 7 to 10 minutes until desired amount of caramelization and browning has occurred. Two minutes prior, add the garlic and oregano and toss.

Check out this “smellevision” video:

Lightly steam the kale in a separate pot and heat up the pasta sauce.

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Once the squash is cool enough to remove, use a fork to shred the squash and place in a mixing bowl. Mix with onions, sausage and garlic. Add the kale and mix. Add the olive and chili flakes (reserving a few of each for the top). Taste and add pepper and salt to your desired amount. I actually don’t add any but that’s me.

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Choose to plate and add sauce or serve family style with a nice salad and some crusty sourdough bread.

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Enjoy!

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