Monday, November 4, 2013

Sausage Stuffed Spaghetti Squash Parmesan

Why is this a Foodgasm?

Don't look at me like that... I know what you are thinking. I WILL NOT eat spaghetti squash, I want real pasta. I was you. No I really was. Like ewww that ain't spaghetti get it outta my face. Well you don't know unless you try... so I did. And it is an amazing pasta substitute, great flavor, not the exact texture, but it goes well with just about anything that regular pasta does. So come on, get adventurous! Trust me, I will not steer your tastebuds wrong, I just won't. Plus there is lots of vitamins and fiber. This is a win-win!

So I decided to make my spaghetti squash Italian stuffed with some pork, some of my killer totally roasted marinara and top it with some Parmesan and fresh mozzarella. The kicker is you can eat a giant bowl of this decadent comforting Italian treat for a very little calories. No guilt topped with sauce and cheese! YES!

I also have some tips on how to prepare your spaghetti squash without fear of stabbing yourself with the knife- so read on!

12 weeks of winter squash

This post is part of my participation of #12wkswintersquash, with some other VERY talented bloggers and I am HONORED to be a part of this! Thanks to Heather of Girl Chef and Joanne from Joanne Eats Well with Others for including me! Please see links of their recipes below.

What you need

1 large spaghetti squash
Extra Virgin Olive Oil to drizzle on squash and 1 tbsp for sausage mixture
1 pound lean ground pork
8 baby bella mushrooms
1 medium onion
4 cloves garlic
1 bell pepper, diced
1 tsp thyme
salt and pepper to taste
2 cups totally roasted marinara, or one of your choice
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan
6 oz. fresh mozzarella cheese

Tips for preparing spaghetti squash!

Okay it can be super scary to try and cut open a stubborn spaghetti squash- they are hard and one sip on the knife and you can be headed to the ER. Here are some GREAT tips.

1- Poke a couple slits into the squash and microwave for 5-8 minutes to get it softer. It totally works and becomes MUCH easier to cut open.
2- You can cook it completely in the microwave also, but this will take longer. You will wanna take out the seeds before it is fully cooked, otherwise it is a mess!
3- Bake with salt and pepper. Like you would add salt to pasta waster, you want to at least add some good ole s & p to the squash.

How to make it

1- Cut spaghetti squash in half and roast at 415º drizzle with Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Salt and Pepper. For about 30 minutes or until soft.
2- While this is roasting put 8 baby bella mushrooms, 1 medium onion and 4 cloves garlic in a food processor and combine well.
3- Drizzle 1 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil to a non stick frying pan and place on medium heat.
4- Add in those processed veggies and 1 lb. lean ground pork
5- Stir and cook well. Lastly add in 1 diced bell pepper
6- Sprinkle in 1 tsp thyme and some salt and pepper to taste.
7- Put 1/2 of sausage mixture into each half of the squash, then top with each with 1/2 of the marinara and lastly the cheese.
8- Bake at 350º for about 20-25 minutes or until cheese is bubbly and slightly browned.

Nutritional Information

This makes 4 very large portions! Enjoy!

Links to more AMAZING Winter Squash Recipes!