Tomato Basil Spaghetti Squash with Black Olives, Roasted Heirloom Tomatoes, and Chicken Bell Pepper Sausage

This winter I have discovered just how much I love squash. Butternut has got to be my most favorite variety by far, but I also tried acorn squash and spaghetti squash for the first time, and was equally satisfied by both. They are so easy to prepare, and incredibly delicious. I just can’t believe it took me upwards of 24 years to finally try them!

Spaghetti squash really does hold true to its namesake. Not only does it look like spaghetti when you shred the flesh out with a fork, but it tastes great with traditional spaghetti pasta ingredients. While looking up recipes for spaghetti squash, I found that most people just treat it like pasta, tossing it with tomato sauce and herbs, or olive oil and garlic salt. So I decided to use what I had on hand, and hope it tasted good together. Lucky me, the dish came out quite well. I made this for my sister and I, and she said she really liked it. I asked my dad to try it (a man who hates spaghetti and chicken), and he at least said it was “better than pasta.” (Score!)

I’m not a huge fan of pasta either, but spaghetti squash with pasta fixings is really good. The texture of the squash is definitely a bit lighter than pasta, and has a nice little crunch to it. I can’t wait to try this squash again with differentsauces and toppings.

Tomato Basil Spaghetti Squash with Black Olives, Roasted Heirloom Tomatoes, and Chicken Bell Pepper Sausage
Recipe by me

Ingredients:
1 medium spaghetti squash
1 jar of your favorite spaghetti sauce (I used Trader Joe’s Tomato Basil)
1 medium can sliced black olives
2 cups of mini heirloom tomatoes
4 chicken sausage links, cut into 1/2 inch slices width-wise (omit for vegan/vegetarian)
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, cut or sliced into thin strips (I used herb scissors)
Asiago cheese, grated (optional)
salt and pepper to taste

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F
Cut spaghetti squash in half, lengthwise. Scrape out seeds and stringy insides. Place an inch of water into 13X9 baking dish and add spaghetti squash cut-side down into dish. Roast for 45-60 minutes until squash is tender and easily shredded with fork. Set squash aside to cool.

While squash is roasting, cut heirloom tomatoes in half, spray with canola oil, and place on aluminum foil-coated baking pan to roast in oven for about 20-30 minutes with squash (I roasted mine separately in a toaster oven at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes, but I imagine either way would work fine). Tomatoes are ready once they have broken-down and look “wrinkly.”

As veggies are roasting, put spagetti sauce into medium sized sauce pan over medium heat with olives, sausage slices, and basil. Heat through for 5-7 minutes, then turn to low heat.

Once spaghetti squash is cool, scrape out the tender insides with a fork and place into serving bowls like spaghetti pasta. Top with spaghetti sauce, heirloom tomatoes, and salt and pepper to taste. If you’re not eating vegan, go ahead and add some grated asiago cheese, too!

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