Spaghetti Squash with Sausage, Spinach & Goat Cheese

It’s finally squash season!! I am very, very pumped.

My love for squash has grown a lot over the years, and it still has room to grow (cough, butternut squash, cough). I had stuffed acorn squash for the first time last year and I immediately added it to my favorite winter food list (stay tuned for a stuffed acorn squash recipe in the near future). Yes, my favorite food lists are categorized by season.

While acorn squash is on the top of my list, nothing quite compares to my obsession with spaghetti squash. Several years ago when I was still living at home, my mom made it for the first time. I was totally offended when she told me she was making this thing called “spaghetti squash”. How could she ever try to replace pasta when it’s brought us so much joy?

I put my skeptical thinking aside and decided to try it. I loved it. It had an earthy, slightly crunchy bite and I secretly enjoyed that it was a healthy alternative. Over the years, I’ve tried many different spaghetti squash recipes and would like to say thanks to the internet for providing me with so many options. I would caution that there are some not-so-great recipes out there. Choose wisely friends. I know I’m biased, but this Marina Makes recipe is one of the great ones.

This spaghetti squash has a fall twist and is mixed with Italian sausage, spinach, thyme and a goat cheese cream sauce. To add some balance to the dish, I added some sweet dried cranberries on top.

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To this day I feel bad leaving my precious pasta in the drawer whenever I make spaghetti squash, but the taste trumps the guilt I feel. Sorry pasta, I’ll love you forever and ever. You’ll always be my number one.

Please give spaghetti squash a chance this season! If you do, don’t forget to tag your photo with #marinamakeseats!!

Ingredients

  • 1 spaghetti squash
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon of salt (divided)
  • 1/4 teaspoon of pepper
  • 1/2 pound of mild ground Italian sausage
  • 1 package of frozen chopped spinach (thawed, squeeze to drain water)
  • 1 tablespoon of butter
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups of heavy cream
  • 4 oz of goat cheese
  • 6-7 sprigs of fresh thyme (1 ½ tablespoons of dried thyme)
  • 3 sprigs of oregano (1 tablespoon of dried oregano
  • Dried cranberries

Directions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Cut spaghetti squash in half lengthwise, remove seeds and stringy inside parts, and place on a baking dish. Drizzle the insides with olive oil and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper. Allow the squash to roast for 50-60 minutes until it’s fork tender.

While the squash is baking, cook the sausage over medium-high heat until browned. Once the sausage is cooked, add the spinach and a 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Cook for a couple of minutes, until spinach is heated through. Set aside.

After the spaghetti squash is done roasting, take it out of the oven and allow it to cool for about 10 minutes. Using a fork scrape the sides and the middle to gather the innards. Set aside.

Next, in a large saucepan, melt butter over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and cook for one minute until fragrant. Then add the heavy cream, goat cheese, 1/2 teaspoon of salt and chopped thyme and oregano. Bring the sauce to a boil and lower to a simmer for about five minutes until thickened.

When the sauce is thick enough, add the spaghetti squash innards and the sausage and spinach mixture. Toss to coat everything with the goat cheese sauce.

Place the desired amount on your plate and top with fresh thyme, oregano and dried cranberries.

 

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