Happiness is a Full Pantry: Baked Spaghetti Squash
Just this past Sunday, I put up my last jar. My cabinet is stocked full of jams, jellies, pickles, and preserves. I’ve canned tomatoes, dried peppers, and frozen berries. I poached my peaches, covered my black currants with vodka, and juiced and frozen my cucumbers. I’m officially ready for winter, with not a minute to spare given that the winds of the Great Lakes cyclone are howling at our door.
In years past, I’d make jar after jar of jams and fruit preserves with an occasional pickle thrown in for good measure. This year, I invested in a Wisconsin made pressure canner, allowing me to put up more tomatoes. Using our first jar on Monday, I made a real winner of a recipe. Full of vegetables, low in carbs and long on taste, Baked Spaghetti Squash with Italian Sausage and Mozzarella, was a perfect antidote to a story October night.
Next year, a root cellar . . .
1 large spaghetti squash
1 pound Italian sausage, casings removed
28 ounce can of tomatoes
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 green pepper, trimmed, seeded and chopped
1/4 cup red wine
1 teaspoon oregano
pinch of red pepper
1/4 pound mozzarella, grated
2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
Preheat the oven to 425 F.
Poke the squash all over with a fork and put it on a dinner plate in the microwave. Cook on high for nine minutes. Turn over and cook for an additional 9 minutes. Remove and cool for at least 5 minutes.
While the squash is cooking, heat a saute pan over a medium-high flame. Add the sausage, cooking and breaking it up with a wooden spoon until it is no longer pink. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Pour in the tomatoes, breaking them up with a spoon. Stir in the peppers, red wine, oregano, red pepper and salt to taste. Simmer for about 10 minutes until slightly thickened.
Butter a casserole dish. Slice the squash in half. Scoop out the seeds and then scrape out the strands into the dish. Mix in the sauce and the grated mozzarella, stir to combine. Sprinkle the parmesan cheese on top. Place in the oven and bake for about 10 minutes or until lightly bro-wned on top.