Italian chicken sausage

Pasta with Butternut Squash Sauce, Spicy Sausage, Baby Spinach and Sage

It seems like I’m forever talking about the weather on my posts, but doesn’t it make such a difference when the weather is “just right”?  What exactly do I mean by “just right”?  Well, here’s my version of “just right”.  Cool mornings, warm and sunny afternoons, beautiful evenings and nippy nights.  It seems like we’ve had a lot of that lately in our neck of the woods.  However, the down side?  The Fall hasn’t been as magnificent as in past years, that’s probably because we’re almost at the end of October, and we’re still experiencing summer temperatures.  But soon that will all change I’m sure.

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Spaghetti Squash Sausage Lasagne Boats

This is an old post that I never quite finished, it just sat there in my drafts folder for months on end.  I decided to tweak it a bit, add some not so nice photos from an old camera and give this dish the attention it deserves.  It was quite a hit in our home as the family love the old fashioned spaghetti and meatballs, but this was a much healthier version and it went down a treat!

Ingredients

  • 2 medium spaghetti squash (4 cups cooked)
  • salt and fresh pepper to taste
  • 1/3 cup skim ricotta cheese
  • 2 tbsp grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 tbsp chopped basil
  • 3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

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Preheat oven to 400 deg F.  Cut spaghetti squash in half lengthwise and scoop out seeds and membrane.  Season lightly with salt and black pepper, bake about 1 hour, or longer if needed on a baking sheet, cut side down.  If you prefer to microwave (like I did above), place in a microwave safe dish and cover.  Microwave 8-9 minutes until soft.

For the sauce

  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 14 oz. Italian chicken sausage
  • 14 oz can crushed tomatoes
  • salt and fresh pepper
  • 2 tbsp chopped basil

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In a large deep saute pan, heat oil and add onions and garlic; saute on medium-low for about 3-4 minutes until soft.  Add the sausage and cook, breaking up into smaller pieces until browned and cooked through.  When cooked, add the crushed tomatoes and adjust salt and pepper to taste.  Add the bay leaf and cover, reducing heat to low.  Simmer 20-30 minutes, then add in fresh basil at the end.

When spaghetti squash is cooked, let it cool for about 10 minutes.  If it was microwaved, now preheat the oven to 400 deg F.  When the spaghetti squash is cool enough to handle, use a fork to remove flesh, which will come out in spaghetti looking strands, reserving the shells.  Drain the squash on a paper towel to soak up any excess liquid, then toss with half of the sauce.  Place the spaghetti squash back into the shells and place on a baking sheet.

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In a small bowl combine the ricotta cheese, 2 tbsp Parmesan cheese and basil.  Top each with remaining sauce, 1 tbsp ricotta mixture and 2 tbsp mozzarella cheese.  Bake in the oven for 20-30 minutes or until everything is hot and the cheese is melted.

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I adapted this receipe from Skinnytaste.com.

Tucking this under my arm and heading over to Angie @ The Novice Gardener for our #54 Fiesta Friday gathering.  This week, two special co-hosts, Sonal @SimplyVegetarian777 and Josette @TheBrookCook will be in charge.  Take it over ladies, I know you’ll do an awesome job, our thanks for welcoming us all and showcasing our offerings.