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Tuesday
Nov292011

Baked Spaghetti Squash with Turkey Sausage

Baked Spaghetti Squash with Sausage

See that ugly blob of spaghetti squash on my plate? Well it tastes a whole lot better than it looks! It's creamy and delicious, and is kind of like a spaghetti squash version of macaroni and cheese. I couldn't have asked for more.

Without the sausage it would make for a tasty side dish, but I added the sausage in to make it a meal and also because I had some in my freezer. I used hot turkey sausage and it added some nice flavor. If you leave the sausage out, I would suggest using a pepper jack cheese to spice it up and add a little flavor. Heck, you can even do that if you use sausage. Have some fun, you can definitely play around with the add ins. Maybe next time I'll add mushrooms, sauteed onions or a hot pepper. 

I also cooked the Spaghetti Squash in the microwave, which really cuts down on the cooking time and makes this an easy weeknight dinner. All you have to do to cook the spaghetti squash in the microwave is puncture the skin a bunch of times with a fork (so it doesn't explode in the microwave), cook for 10-12 minutes and then let it sit in the microwave and hang out for about 5 more minutes to finish steaming. I'll get into the details below with the recipe, but my point is cooking it for 10 minutes in the microwave is a heck of a lot faster than baking it in the oven for an hour.

Ingredients
1 spaghetti squash
1 package hot Italian turkey sausage (approx 1-1/4 lbs)
2 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
1-1/2 to 2 cups low fat milk
1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
3/4-1 cup shredded mozzarella (you can really play around with the cheeses, that's what I have on hand).

Directions
Puncture skin of spaghetti squash with fork several times and cook in microwave fo 10-12 minutes. Let sit in microwave for 5 minutes after cooking to let it steam some more. 

Meanwhile remove sausage from casings and brown over medium to medium high heat on stove top. Break sausage up with side or back of spoon, stirring occasionally until sausage is cooked through and no longer pink. Set aside in medium to large bowl (you'll be scraping the squash into here).

Once squash is cool enough to handle, cut in half and scrape out squash with spoon. It should come out easily and look like spaghetti strands. Add the spaghetti squash to the bowl with the sausage.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In the same pan you use to brown sausage melt butter over medium high heat. Once melted, whisk in flour. Once flour is whisked in (it should only take a couple minutes) slowly whisk in milk. Continue whisking unitl mixture thickens, it should only take a few minutes, but you need to whisk continuously so it doesn't burn on the bottom. 

Remove pan from heat, stir in parmesan cheese, and then stir in sausage and spaghetti squash. Pour or spoon all of this into a 2 quart baking dish, sprinkle with mozzarella cheese and cook for 25 to 30 minutes until cheese is brown and bubbling on top.

 

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