Food, Savory

Spaghetti Squash Pasta Bake

Spaghetti Squash Pasta Bake

I was super skeptical about this one. Particularly because I don’t really like squash. I’ve never been a fan. I don’t know if it’s a mental thing or if I really don’t like the taste. But a girlfriend of mine said spaghetti squash was different. She made it a point to tell me that this stringy squash actually didn’t taste like other squash and could be used in place of pasta. Then she lured me in with the promise that I could get my pasta fix in without all the guilt of carbs.

As an Italian, I’m a sucker for pasta. Give me lasagna, Alfredo pasta with chicken and broccoli, or even stuffed shells. The only problem is that all those recipes stick to my hips.

I was unsure of her claim, but thought I’d give it a try. She suggested trying this Spaghetti Squash and Sausage recipe, and while it was time consuming, I did find that it wasn’t as bad as I thought. I also might have removed a few of the low fat options, but I didn’t think that was the end of the world. The squash resembled pasta strands, but it was clearly vegetables. I did get Andy to eat a good portion of it before he complained that I had tricked him, yet again, into eating vegetables. It tasted like an Alfredo spaghetti dish that had been baked and topped with breadcrumbs. So I guess it’s a win.

Spaghetti Squash Pasta Bake

Spaghetti Squash Pasta Bake

Gather:
1 large spaghetti squash
2 Alfresco Spicy Jalapeno Chicken Sausage
1 cup fat free chicken broth
1 cup 2% milk
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp flour
1 tbsp dried, ground sage
2 tsp dried parsley
1 cup Panko breadcrumbs
1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400.

Pierce holes into the outer skin of the spaghetti squash, then place it into a microwave safe dish and microwave for about 7-8 minutes. This will soften the squash. Let cool for about 10 minutes. When cool enough to handle, cut in half and scoop out the seeds. Lightly coat halves with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Place in a baking dish with about 1/2 inch of water and cook for 30 minutes in oven.

Once removed from oven and cooled, use a fork to scrape out the insides. It will fall apart and look like angel hair pasta strands (hence the name). Place in large bowl and throw out the skin.

Remove sausage from casings, dice, and add to bowl.

In a saucepan, melt butter and stir in flour to make a roux. Slowly whisk in milk, chicken broth, and garlic. Bring to a boil, but continue stirring. Lower heat, add in Parmesan and sage. Cool and stir until it has thickened. Pour sauce into bowl with spaghetti squash and sausage. Toss.

Pour bowl mixture into a baking pan that was been sprayed with cooking oil. Top with mozzarella cheese, then top with breadcrumbs and parsley. Bake in oven for 30 to 35 minutes, or until it is cooked through and cheese is melted. Remove, let cool, and enjoy.

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