Thursday, March 15, 2012

Puttanesca Spaghetti Squash

We have decided that nearly any recipe that calls for spaghetti can be substituted with spaghetti squash.  For the most part the pasta is just there to carry the sauce, so when the sauce is hearty and flavorful like this one, spaghetti squash is the perfect accompaniment.

I was inspired by this recipe I saw on Pinterest.   Can we just take a moment to reflect on the wonder that is Pinterest?  Aside from the fashion and decorating, it's a fantastic resource for recipe ideas.  In any case, I put my own spin on this dish, but used the basic Puttanesca flavors.

Puttanesca is rumored to have been the recipe that Italian prostitutes would cook to lure customers to their home.  I don't think any prostitutes these days are making spicy pasta dishes for their customers, but this is so good they should consider bringing that marketing technique back.

Puttanesca Spaghetti Squash
Serves 6

1 spaghetti squash ~4 lbs, roasted
olive oil
1 onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
2 teaspoons anchovy paste (I found this in the canned fish section at the market.  An advantage to the paste is you don't have to look at weird anchovies but you get all the salty goodness.)
1 lb. sausage (I used garlic chicken sausage, but regular spicy Italian sausage is traditional)
1 Tablespoon dried Italian herbs (I used a combination of basil, oregano and thyme)
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
salt and pepper

1/4 cup red wine (optional, but I had some around)
28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
1 cup olives, roughly chopped
Parmesan cheese, for serving

To roast the spaghetti squash:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Prick squash all over with a knife.
Place whole on a baking tray and roast for an hour.
Allow to cool enough to handle before slicing in half lengthways.
Scoop out the seeds and discard.
Using a fork, scrape up the flesh into spaghetti-like strands.

In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat.
Add in the onion, garlic and anchovy paste and cook for a couple minutes.
Add in the sausage and brown.  If you use chicken sausage like I did, it's already cooked so you just want to brown and heat it.  If you use traditional Italian pork sausage, saute until fully cooked.
Add in the herbs and spices and stir.
Pour in the wine and cook for a couple minutes.
Add in the crushed tomatoes and olives.
Allow to simmer for 10-20 minutes.
Before serving, stir in the spaghetti squash.
Top with cheese.


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