Spaghetti Squash Italiano

By Micki Brown

Serves 4


1 2.5-3 pound spaghetti squash, cut in half lengthwise, seeds removed

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 pound Italian sausage (not links)

1 bell pepper, stem and seeds removed, chopped

¼ cup onions, chopped

8 ounces baby bella mushrooms, sliced

2 tsp garlic, minced

1 26-ounce container diced or chopped tomatoes

¼ cup fresh basil, coarsely chopped

1 tsp dried oregano

Sea salt to taste

Black pepper to taste

Parmesan cheese to taste (optional)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Place squash, cut side down, in a baking pan with about 1 inch of water. Place in oven and bake for 60-90 minutes or until the squash becomes tender. Remove from oven and remove flesh from the skin with a fork – it will come out in spaghetti-like strands. While the squash is baking, prepare the sauce. In a large skillet or sauté pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the sausage, peppers and onion and cook until the sausage is cooked through and the vegetables are becoming tender. Add the garlic and cook about 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, mushrooms, basil, oregano, salt and pepper and bring to a simmer. Continue simmering, covered, over medium-low heat for 45-60 minutes, stirring occasionally. To serve, place desired amount of squash on a plate, smother with sauce, top with parmesan. Note: To make this a tasty vegetarian dish, omit the Italian sausage and double or triple up on the mushrooms.