Earlier this week, my bus buddy, Susan, and I were heading home after a day of work, and the topic of what was for dinner came up. I told her of my plans to do Chicken Parm, and she said that she was going to be cooking spaghetti squash. My mind immediately drift to this simple but delicious recipe that I found on epicurious.com back in 2006. It's so hard for me to believe that I've been making it that long, and everyone that I've made it for has loved it! I first discovered spaghetti squash about 5 years ago, and it was an exciting time for my mom, too, because she is allergic to sulfates which are usually part of the whole pasta experience. In the past, I've been known to throw in some mushrooms.
The spaghetti squash that they had at Publix were on the smaller side than I'm used to using which saddened me...mainly because it meant that I could use a regular knife instead of my electric knife. Yep, I got an electric knife with the main purpose of halving a spaghetti squash!!! Anyway, with the smaller squash, I had to play around with the amount of ingredients, but like always, this recipe turned out to be a fantastic meal! Another cool thing is that it allowed me to use some of the fresh herbs that Susan had brought me!
Here's my adapted original recipe!
Stuffed Spaghetti Squash
- 1 3 3/4- to 4-pound spaghetti squash, halved lengthwise, seeded
- 1 pound bulk pork sausage
- 1 cup chopped green bell pepper
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
- 1 1/2 cups purchased marinara sauce
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- Cheddar cheese
Preheat oven to 375F.
Place halved spaghetti squash shell side up on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. Bake squash in the oven for 1 hour. Let the squash cool.
While the squash is cooling, sauté sausage, bell pepper, onion, basil, and garlic in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat until sausage browns and vegetables are tender, breaking up sausage with back of spoon, about 12 minutes. Mix in marinara sauce.
Using fork, pull out squash strands from shells, leaving shells intact. Mix squash strands into sausage mixture. Season filling to taste with salt and pepper. Spoon filling into squash shells. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover; refrigerate.)
Turn oven up to 400°F. Arrange filled squash halves on baking sheet. Sprinkle each with Parmesan and then top with a little bit of cheddar cheese. Bake uncovered until heated through, about 20 minutes (30 minutes if previously chilled). Cut each squash half in two and serve.