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Monday, December 17, 2012

Spaghetti Squash w/ Kale & Sweet Italian Sausage

Spaghetti Squash w/ Kale & Sweet Italian Sausage
Twisted insides. An aching heart. A burning lump in my throat. Tears that slide continually from my eyes. But I can reach out and encircle my babies in my arms... squeeze tight... willing them to forever stay in my grasp. And it breaks my heart over and over again each time I think of those families in Connecticut who can no longer touch their children again. See their radiant smiling faces. Hear their infectious laughter. Hold their small, trusting hands. I think and I think and I don't understand. I will never understand what could make somebody commit such an act.

I'm not going to voice anymore than this. Because I am unable to do so. I know that nothing I say or do will bring any measure of comfort to these families. But I wish that there was. And I wish them peace.
Spaghetti Squash w/ Kale & Sweet Italian Sausage

There's really no graceful transition from anguish to food, but I still wanted to share this dish today.  To me, it's comfort food.  It's also healthy.  And beyond delicious.  These were the few thoughts I had jotted down before my mind could no longer focus.  They are all still true...
Spaghetti Squash w/ Kale & Sweet Italian Sausage
Don't you love it when you find something that is so irresistible that you want to eat it three times a day?  Every day.  As in, every single day for the foreseeable future.

That is exactly what happened with this combination. One bite and I was a goner.  The slightly sweet crunch of the spaghetti squash was meant to be eaten in the same bite with savory Italian sausage and earthy kale.  Garlic, shallots, and just a pinch of crushed red chiles  are all the seasoning that is required, aside from a little salt and pepper to taste.  I don't know if it's just me or not, but I cannot get enough!

Spaghetti Squash w/ Kale & Sweet Italian Sausage
Kale and sweet Italian sausage are the perfect match for simple, healthy spaghetti squash. Convert spaghetti squash doubters into believers with this recipe!
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Spaghetti Squash w/ Kale & Sweet Italian Sausage
by Heather Schmitt-González
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: ~1 hour
Keywords: roast saute entree kale sausage spaghetti squash American fall winter

Ingredients (serves 4)
  • 1 med-large Spaghetti Squash
  • 12 oz. sweet Italian sausage (pork, chicken, or turkey)
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1 fat clove garlic, minced
  • 1 large bunch kale
  • big pinch crushed red chiles
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 350° F. Line a baking sheet with a silicone mat or parchment paper.

Cut the tip and the tail off of the squash and then cut in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds. Set both halves, cut side down, on the prepared baking sheet. Roast for 45 minutes - 1 hour, or until tender (the tip of a small, thin-bladed knife should slide in easily). Set aside for a few minutes, until cool enough to handle.

When the squash is getting near the end of its cooking time, set a large skillet over medium to medium-high heat and add the sausage. Cook, stirring as needed to break up, until cooked through and a bit brown.  Add shallots and garlic and saute for another minute or two, until soft.

Pull the large, woody stems from the kale, and slice the leaves into thin ribbons. Add to the skillet along with the crushed red chile flakes and cook, stirring until tender and just cooked through. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Use a fork to scrape the still warm squash into strands. Arrange on a serving platter.

Scoop the sausage and kale mixture over the top. Grate some Parmesan over the top of everything and serve. And enjoy immensely.

If you have leftovers, this is just as good heated up the next day.
Spaghetti Squash w/ Kale & Sweet Italian Sausage