Happy December! Can you believe that it’s December already? If you’re detoxing from Thanksgiving weekend like me, this spaghetti squash pasta recipe will be great for to you ease back into eating a little bit healthier before more holiday meals later this month.
I’ve always been curious about spaghetti squash, but have never actually been inspired enough to buy one and roast it. Luckily, one of my good friends moved to New York recently and we’ve been on a cooking spree at her apartment. Nothing like a cooking date to challenge you to try something new. And boy, am I glad we did!
I’ve always heard that spaghetti squash is a great replacement for spaghetti but it wasn’t until I actually tried it did I actually believe it. This is all the deliciousness of a hearty italian meal but none of the guilt of the carbs.
Since it was our first time trying it, we decided to go light on the “pasta”, instead of covering it in sauce, we lightly sautéed it with some kale and sun-dried tomato chicken sausage. I especially loved using my fork to spool the squash noodles just like spaghetti.
First it begins with the spaghetti squash, which is a specific type of squash that naturally separates itself into little noodles. I bought mine at the farmer’s market at Union Square for only $4! Not a bad deal. The farmer who sold it to me a tip, which was to first boil the squash in hot water for 5 minutes so that a) the squash softens so it’s easier to cut, and b) the roasting time of the squash shortens. We tried to find a pot that would fit this 5 lb squash, but as you can see…
…the biggest pot that we had wouldn’t fit the entire squash. So we had to go the more traditional route of just roasting the beast.
To make cutting it in half easier, I first cut off the stem of the squash to give it a flatter surface for me to stabilize the squash for cutting. This is probably the hardest part of the recipe as the rest was just so easy and fun to make.
After cutting it lengthwise in half, remove the seeds from the middle. Then, we turned the squash down and started cutting little slits in the squash. This is to help the squash cook a tad faster, we didn’t stab too deep, just surface cuts.
We put the squash on a silpat, to make sure the squash didn’t stick to the cookie sheet, but you can do the same by greasing up the cooking sheet or even putting it on top of foil. Heat the oven, and put the squash in for it to roast for about 45-50 minutes.
You’ll know it’s done when you can put a fork into it and it feels pretty soft. Once that happens, you can take the squash out and start running your fork through the squash. It will naturally become the spaghetti on the left.
As you’re roasting the squash, prep the rest of your ingredients for your pasta dish. For this dish, we diced up onions, cut some kale, basil and sausage for it.
Once we separated all the spaghetti from the squash, we sautéed everything together, and added the squash last. Topped off with some fresh tomatoes for some added brightness and it was ready to eat. Top with some additional fresh grated parmesan and you really have such a hearty and healthy dinner. Gotta love it!
Don’t be intimidated by the spaghetti squash, the next time you see it in your market, bring one home and use it to replace the carby spaghetti for your favorite pasta recipe. You won’t regret it, and your thanksgiving belly will thank you as well.
Spaghetti Squash Pasta w/ Kale and Sausage
Makes 4 servings1 large spaghetti squash (~5 lbs)1/2 medium onion, diced2 chicken sausages, with or without casing
2 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup basil, juilenned
1 tablespoon olive oil
salt & pepper, to taste
grated parmesan cheese
1 tomato, diced (optional)
red pepper flakes (optional)
1. Roast spaghetti squash. Preheat oven to 375°F. Cut spaghetti squash lengthwise in half. Remove seeds. Use a fork or knife and perforate the skin of the squash. Place the squash flesh side down on either a greased cookie sheet or a silpat. Place in oven and cook until soft, about 45-50 minutes.
2. Remove spaghetti squash from skin. Once your squash is soft, take it out of the oven and scoop out all the spaghetti from the skin and set aside.
3. Sauté kale and sausage. In a large pan, heat up 1 tablespoon of olive oil in medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic and cook for 5 minutes and add sausage. If the sausage is not pre-cooked, make sure it is almost cooked before you add the kale. Add kale and season with salt & pepper.
4. Add spaghetti squash & serve. Add the squash to the pan and cook for another minute while mixing everything together. Turn off the heat and add the basil and tomato (optional). Top off with parmesan cheese and serve.