We had a string of nice warm days here and then the weather turned cold and rainy again, prompting me to make this twice baked spaghetti squash. It is a great low carb option when you are in the mood for lasagna.
I chose a relatively small spaghetti squash which was plenty for Jason and I, so we had enough of this quick tomato sauce left over for Ford to have on top of some pasta. (Ford is not fond of spaghetti squash and there are only two servings there so it worked out fine to make him a little pasta.) Bottom line, you’ll have some sauce left over.
I still like to use olive oil for sauteing, but there are those who say it breaks down too quickly to use for high heat cooking. My approach is to heat the pan well then add the olive oil right before whatever I plan to saute so as not to give the oil a lot of time in the pan on it’s own. I browned the sausage and set aside, then used those pan drippings to saute the onions and garlic. I always remove the germ if one is present in my garlic cloves, it has a bitter taste and is best left out. It’s easy to see if you smash the garlic with the side of knife or a heavy bottom measuring cup, which also makes your garlic way easier to peel. Not every clove will have one, the fresher the garlic the less likely you are to find a germ. But as the garlic ages it will begin that little green sprout to try and regenerate and that is only good if you are planning to grow garlic. If you’re going to cook with it, get it out of there!
Once the squash is roasted flip it over and fluff the strands with a fork to separate. Then fill the halves with sauce, tucking into the strands to evenly distribute. I might even try a little ricotta in there next time! Top with grated mozzarella and return to the oven to heat through and melt the cheese. Top with a little more fresh parsley and dinner is served.
We served ours with a simple lettuce and tomato salad using some leftover marinated tomatoes I had made the night before. I originally served the tomato alongside grilled salmon and asparagus but it was a big one and we only ate about half of it. I saved the rest overnight and let it come to room temperature before tossing with some greens and a little olive oil and balsamic. I am all about a simple salad with dinner!
Twice Baked Spaghetti Squash with Sausage and Tomatoes
- 1 spaghetti squash
- 2 tbsp olive oil, divided
- 2 links mild Italian sausage
- 3/4 cup yellow onion diced
- 3 cloves garlic pressed
- 1 tsp basil
- 1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
- 2 tbsp Italian parsley chopped, divided
- 1 cup mozzarella cheese grated
- Preheat oven to 400°. Cut spaghetti squash in half lengthwise and scrape out seeds. Rub all over with 1 tablespoon olive oil and place cut side down on sheet pan. Roast for approx 40 minutes, until back side of squash is easily pierced with a fork.
- While the squash is roasting prepare the tomato sauce. Heat a cast iron skillet over medium high heat until hot. Remove sausage from casing and add 1 tablespoon olive oil to skillet. Immediately add sausage and brown on all sides using spatula to break up sausage into bite size pieces. Remove skillet from heat and set sausage aside on paper towels to drain.
- Return skillet to heat. Add onion and saute until soft and beginning to brown. Add basil and garlic, saute for 30-60 seconds until fragrant, then add the crushed tomatoes and stir well to combine.
- When tomatoes are hot return sausage to skillet and add 1 heaping tablespoon of parsley reserving the rest. Turn off flame and let the sauce rest in the skillet until spaghetti squash is done.
- When spaghetti squash is done, flip so cut side is up and fluff with fork to separate strands. Fill with tomato sauce, tucking into strands to evenly distribute. Top each half with 1/2 cup grated mozzarella and return to oven.
- Bake until cheese is melted and bubbling and beginning to brown on top, about 20 minutes. Top with remaining fresh parsley.