1 spaghetti squash
1 lb. Italian sausage (a mix of spicy & sweet is a nice blend)
2 cups of your favorite pasta sauce (or see the simple sauce recipe below)
2 Tablespoons fresh basil
½ cup ricotta cheese
½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese (plus extra for topping)
salt & pepper
Roasting the squash:
1. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. Wash spaghetti squash, cut off stem and slice squash lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds and pulp. (Save the seeds and roast them!)
2. Brush with olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and place, cut side down, in baking dish (9×13 works well) with a little water in the bottom of the dish — as the squash cooks, you can add more water if it dries up.
3. Roast for 45-60 minutes, depending on squash size, or until inside is soft and easily “fluffs” with a fork. (It will look like very tiny spaghetti noodles.)
4. While squash is roasting, brown Italian sausage in large skillet over medium heat. Remove sausage from the pan and set aside, but SAVE the drippings in the pan for the next step.
5. If you are using a jar sauce, add that to the pan now and simmer. If you chose to make the super simple sauce recipe below, use the drippings in the pan instead of the olive oil to start your sauce. Add the sausage back into the sauce.
6. In a bowl, combine the ricotta, mozzarella, and fresh basil, set aside.
7. When squash is tender, remove from oven and using a fork, scoop and fluff, to get the inside of the squash to look like spaghetti noodles. You don’t have to get at ALL of the squash, you can scoop more later when you get to the bottom after it’s been filled and you’re enjoying it for dinner.
8. Now we FILL THEM! Start with a scoop of the red sauce, followed by a layer of the cheese mixture, (you can add extra mozzarella on each layer too!) and repeat the layers until you have over-filled your squash, ending with a layer of red sauce and then topping them with mozzarella.
9. Turn the oven to broil and put them back in to brown up the cheesy top.
Simple Red Sauce:
1 small yellow onion, diced
1 stalk of celery, diced
3 basil leaves, chopped
1 large can crushed tomatoes
4 ounces tomato sauce
2 garlic cloves, minced (use a garlic press)
2-3 Tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper
1. Heat olive oil over medium-high heat.
2. Add onion and celery and sauté for 4-5 minutes, until they start to soften.
3. Add garlic and sauté 30 seconds, stirring frequently. Stir in tomatoes and tomato sauce. Season with salt & pepper.
4. Reduce heat and simmer while roasting squash, add fresh basil at the end of cooking.