BY KRISTIN CELESTE SHROEGER
---- — It is hard to contain my enthusiasm for fall squash season. I turn in to a squash hoarder and load up on a variety of squash to last me through the fall and winter seasons.
Spaghetti squash has a sweet nutty flavor profile that can be served hot as a healthy pasta alternative, blended into soups, baked in frittatas and casseroles or served cold in a salad.
Spaghetti squash is a nutrient dense, low-calorie fruit that is full of fiber, vitamins and minerals. I tend to cook a few spaghetti squash at a time and store the cooked spaghetti squash halves in the refrigerator to use within a few days. Cold spaghetti squash noodles are a favorite salad ingredient in my kitchen as they pair nicely with seasonal fruits and a simple maple vinaigrette for a quick and nutritious fall salad.
When at the farmers market, look for spaghetti squash that have a hard yellow skin and that are free from soft spots, brown blemishes or cracks. Store dry whole spaghetti squash in a cool, well ventilated area away from light. Do not store your uncooked spaghetti squash in the refrigerator as this may spoil the squash. When stored properly, spaghetti squash may last for two months.
Before heading off to the farmer’s market, remember to visit the online “What’s in Season” feature of the Taste the Local Difference Food & Farm Guide at www.mlui.org to see what produce is in season in your area.
Spaghetti Squash,Basil and Sausage
Spring Hollow Farm spaghetti squash
9 Bean Rows Farm onion
Food for Thought olive oil
Maxbauer Meat Market pork sausage
Hot pepper flakes
9 Bean Rows Farm basil
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Cut spaghetti squash in half lengthwise. Place the squash halves cut side down on a metal baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes, flip spaghetti squash over and bake for an additional 10 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes. With a fork, scrape spaghetti squash flesh from halves and reserve.
Mince 1/2 cup onion and add to a metal skillet with one tablespoon olive oil. Stir and cook onion for three minutes over medium heat. Add one pound pork sausage to onions in skillet with 1/2 tablespoon hot pepper flakes. Stir and cook sausage for eight minutes over medium heat or until cooked thoroughly.
Remove 1/4 cup basil leaves from stems and tear leaves into bite size pieces. Plate one cup spaghetti squash with one or two tablespoons basil leaves and 1/2 cup sausage.
Kristin Celeste Shroeger of Traverse City is the food writer, recipe creator, photographer and dishwasher of The Intentional Minimalist, a website encouraging farm-to-table cooking with local, seasonal and sustainable produce. Visit www.theintentionalminimalist.com.