Jessica posted an enchilada spaghetti recipe last week that got me thinking. I’d been staring at the spaghetti squash I bought for over a week already and was trying to come up with something that would make me actually enjoy eating the squash. See, every fall the grocery store squash inundation happens and I inevitably feel compelled to pick up a spaghetti squash along with it’s much more flavorful acorn, butternut and kabocha relatives, cook it and end up forcing the stringy stuff down without much enjoyment.
I’m pretty sure where spaghetti squash goes wrong is with it’s stupid name. Yeah, it looks like spaghetti and I get the whole resemblance thing but, I think that makes people (myself included) think they should be preparing it like spaghetti and creating all sorts of “mock” dishes. Newsflash peeps: spaghetti squash does not and will not ever taste like the delicious carb filled pasta it gets it’s name from no matter how much olive oil and parmesan cheese you load on top.
After seeing Jessica’s recipe I got the idea to go spicy and create something somewhere in between a pasta, chili and soup with the squash. I’m honestly not sure what the heck to call this concoction so I apologize for the lame name. If anything, it actually looks (and tastes) a bit like a jambalaya. The spiciness of the sausage + spice is offset by the freshness of the parsely and it’s an amazing combination that makes your mouth happy with each bite. It’s the first time I didn’t try to replicate another dish with spaghetti squash and it’s the first time I actually enjoyed eating it. Coincidence? I don’t think so.
All the squash needed was an identity of it’s own.
I feel like I owe it an apology for it’s poor name choice and trying to dress it up as something it’s not all these years.
I promise I’ll make it up to you dear spaghetti squash. This is just the beginning.
Inspired by How Sweet It Is Chicken Enchilada Spaghetti
Yield: Makes 2 dinner portions or 4 side dish portions
- 1 medium spaghetti squash
- 1 large zucchini, chopped
- 1/2 large onion, chopped
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1lb. (4 links) chicken sausage, cut into rounds
- 1 chipotle chili in adobo sauce, chopped
- 1 cup enchilada sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/8 teaspoon chili powder + extra for seasoning the squash
- 1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
- salt & pepper
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Split squash in half removing seeds and place in a baking dish with 1/2 an inch of water. Season generously with salt, pepper and chili powder. Bake for 45 minutes. Remove from oven, let cool and then scrape the squash with a fork into a bowl and set aside. In a large pan with raised sides, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onion, garlic & zucchini and sauté for about 5-7 minutes, until softened. Add chicken sausage and continue to sauté until browned on either side. Next, add chipotle chili, enchilada sauce and spices. Cook on medium-low heat for about 2-3 minutes to meld flavors. Add squash into pan with cheddar cheese at the end and toss to combine. Top with parsley.
What’s your favorite way to prepare spaghetti squash?