Thursday, May 19, 2011

homemade (semi) fast food

This is what I call homemade fast food. I pop a spaghetti squash in the oven before the dogs and I go walking. When we get back, it's almost done. Then the rest is made up, plopped in a pan, and baked.  Sometimes we have a green salad with it, but not always. With the onions, mushrooms, sauce and squash, I'm thinking the vegetable category is covered.

It started out as a lasagna recipe but, as they often do, has evolved to become simpler. I've renamed it. If you don't know about hot dish, it's what a casserole is called in North Dakota (where I grew up), South Dakota, and Minnesota.

Italian Spaghetti Squash Hot Dish

1 lb. Italian sausage*
1 25.5 oz. jar pasta sauce (I use Muir Glen's tomato basil)
1 cup chopped onions
1-2 cups sliced mushrooms
2 cloves pressed garlic
2 t. dried basil
1 t. salt
1 T. dried oregano
1 large spaghetti squash
olive oil
8 oz. sliced whole-milk mozzarella cheese 
grated Parmesan cheese

Poke 5-10 holes into the squash and bake at 375 degrees for an hour (leave it whole).

Saute the onions, garlic, and Italian sausage, adding the mushrooms last. Add the spices and the sauce; simmer for at least 15 minutes.

Slice the baked squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Then scrape and scoop the squash noodles into an oiled 9" x 13" baking pan. Drizzle a little more olive oil over the squash. Cover with the meat sauce. Place slices of mozzarella cheese over the entire top. Sprinkle grated Parmesan cheese over it all and put back into a 350 degree oven until it's nicely melted and browned.  

*Have you noticed that a pound isn't 16 ounces anymore? It's true, the last time I bought Italian sausage, it was only 14 ounces. The times, they are a-changin'.

Also posted at Food Renegade, Grain-Free Tuesdays, and the Hearth and Soul Hop.


  1. Have you ever tried zuchinni "noodles"? Or you can use yellow summer squash. You peel off strips using a vegetable peeler (don't go past where the seeds start) and then saute in a bit of olive oil. Makes a great light change from pasta!

  2. This sounds absolutely delicious! I've got to make this for Bill and I...SOON. Thank you so much for the great recipe!

    ;-) Debi

  3. Jo! Yes, I have made those -- and you're right, it's another tasty way to have a non-grain "carrier" food. Can't wait for garden zucchini again but it'll be a good long while with our crazy weather...

  4. Debi, I hope you both like it. My husband loves it!

  5. Yum spaghetti squash rules! I usually cut mine in half and take out the seeds, but your method sounds even better, thanks. Please share with our grain-free tuesday bloghop!

  6. HellaD, you're welcome and I think this way is the easiest that I've tried so far. I'll come see you!

  7. Yes, I have noticed that the manufacturers have a clever little game. They are downsizing products so the price will stay in a price range consumers will still pay.(Of course they will still be making the same or more profit) However, I have noticed that the price keeps going up!

    This dish looks yummy! :)

  8. Marie, thanks and right on -- this particular product has probably been downsized for a while for all I know and I just didn't notice. So their plan works, darn it.

  9. Great post. I'll have to bookmark this.Thanks!

  10. Thanks Mrs. Ed! I'll have to come visit you, too, now . . .

  11. I love cooking with Spaghetti Squash and this recipe sounds delightful! I can't wait to give it a try. Thanks for sharing your recipe with The Hearth and Soul Hop.

    BTW, I am your latest follower.

  12. Alea, hello! I'm making it again tonight because I'll be busy with other things most of the day. I try to always have the ingredients for this on hand. Always.
    My middle name is Lea but now I wish it was Alea. Love that!

  13. Mmm, this sounds so yummy! We love spaghetti squash and I've got some growing in the garden so I can't wait to try this when they are ready to eat :)

  14. Rosina, you've already planted yours? Oh, I'm so behind this year, it's been too cold. Hopefully this week! and I hope you like the recipe, too!

  15. Nice, yum I love it, what a great idea! We eat a lot of spaghetti squash. I have been trying out your method of just poking the squash and it came out great. So simple yet effective.

  16. hellaD -- I knoowww. Isn't it amazing? So much easier.