Thursday, February 5, 2009

Spaghetti Squash with Turkey Sausage and Artichoke Hearts

Spaghetti squash is a lovely alternative to pasta and an easy way to sneak in another serving of vegetables to your daily diet. When paired with savory turkey sausage and artichoke hearts, spaghetti squash retains the healthy qualities that keep your heart healthy and figure trim but is exciting enough that your family will be happy too. If you've never tried spaghetti squash then you're in for a real treat. It doesn't taste like traditional pasta even though it looks similar. The taste is very mild and somewhat sweet, although less sweet than butternut or acorn squash.

printer friendly recipe

1 spaghetti squash, about 4 pounds
1/2 pound hot or mild turkey sausage, casings removed
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 onion, chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup white wine
15 ounce can diced tomatoes, reserve juice
14 ounce can quartered artichoke hearts, drained
1 teaspoon dried sage
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped

To prepare the spaghetti squash:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Split squash in half lengthwise. Scoop out seeds. Place squash cut side down in a baking pan.

Bake squash for 60 minutes then turn over in pan and bake for another 35 to 45 minutes, or until flesh is very soft and separates easily into strands.

When the squash is done, steady one half with one hand (wear an oven mitt to avoid burning your hand). Using a large fork, gently scrape down the flesh to separate into strands. Place strands into a colander set over a bowl. Repeat with other half.

Press down firmly upon the spaghetti squash to release any extra liquid.

Pour the spaghetti squash into a large serving dish and cover to keep warm if the sauce is not finished.

To prepare the turkey sausage and artichoke sauce:

About 20 minutes before squash is done baking, heat oil in large saute pan with high sides over medium heat.

Add onions and saute for five minutes.

Add salt.

Continue cooking onions until they become translucent, about five more minutes.

Add turkey sausage and garlic. As you brown the turkey sausage, break it up into bite size pieces. Cook through completely, until the turkey sausage is no longer pink but well browned.

Add the wine and deglaze the pan.

Add tomatoes, artichokes and sage. Stir thoroughly and heat through.

Add some of the reserved tomato juice if the sauce looks too dry for your liking. I usually add about 1/2 cup of juice.

Remove sauce from heat. Stir in parsley.

Pour over the spaghetti squash and serve immediately while very hot.

Serves 4.


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