I’m not gonna lie. Cracking open a spaghetti squash was one of the scariest things I’ve ever done in the kitchen, and that’s counting all the cuts and second-degree burns I’ve had. It took both my husband and I, several different knives, and about 20 minutes of grunting to hack that thing open. I had no idea they were so tough. I was *this* close to taking it into the garage and introducing it to the circular saw. Whoever was the first person to figure out those things were edible must’ve been one hungry mofo.
And then I read that it’s easier to just roast them whole, then slice them open. BUT. It takes more time and planning, because it takes longer to bake and you have to let it cool before handling it. So I’ll let you decide how to go about it, but will give you some options by directing you here. However you get your “noodles”, I promise the sauce will honor your effort.
Good Ol’ Fashioned Spaghetti (Squash)
1 Tbsp. olive oil
kosher salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
2 lbs. Italian sausage, either loose or removed from casings
8 oz. mushrooms, sliced
1 onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 bunch Swiss chard, sliced into ribbons or 1/2 bag baby spinach
1 28 oz. can/box/jar diced tomatoes
1 14 oz. can/box/jar tomato sauce
2 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. dried thyme
handful of basil, sliced into ribbons
grated Parmesan (optional)
1) If spaghetti squash was sliced open before cooking, be sure to olive oil and S&P it first. If you cooked the spaghetti squash whole, place strands in a bowl and toss with olive oil and S&P. Set aside.
2) Heat sausage in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When fat begins to render, add onion and mushrooms and cook until onion is translucent and mushrooms have softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and chard/spinach, stir to combine. When garlic is fragrant and chard/spinach is beginning to wilt, about 1 minute, pour in the tomatoes and tomato sauce. Sprinkle in the oregano, garlic powder, and thyme. Stir to incorporate, then reduce heat to medium-low, put a lid on it, and let it simmer for 20 minutes.
3) Stir in most of the basil, leaving enough to garnish 4 servings. Taste sauce and adjust seasoning with S&P to taste (for me, it takes a lot of salt to overcome the sweetness of the tomatoes). Place one cup of spaghetti squash strands on each plate and top with lots o’ sauce. Garnish with remaining basil and grated Parmesan, if using.
Serves 4, probably with leftovers.