I love the internet. (I also loathe and fear it. It’s a complicated relationship.) My modest little blog has started connecting people in unexpected and delicious ways, and I am just tickled pink.
For example, the lovely and talented Daisy stumbled across this blog a while ago, and commented on a recipe I posted. My (also lovely and talented) friend Molly saw Daisy’s comment, and clicked over to her blog. Molly made and loved several of Daisy’s recipes, and now Daisy’s spaghetti squash with sausage and tomatoes has gone into heavy rotation at Molly’s house. And I, the not-so-innocent bystander, sit on the sidelines and clap with glee.
Over the weekend, a big group of friends gathered for an impromptu dinner, and Molly spearheaded the making of a giant batch of squash. Four squashes, to be exact, and three skillets of sausage and tomato, with at least two bottles of wine and a growler of beer to keep us company while the squash roasted. Following Molly’s lead, we tweaked the recipe slightly from the Italian-inspired original, subbing in chorizo for the Italian sausage and adding a fat glug of red wine to the sauce. It made a satisfying mess of the kitchen, as we tried to fork the squash into strands while it was still hot and ended up dropping bits of it all over the stove. (I have the burned fingertips to prove it.)
If you haven’t yet experienced the smell of chorizo, tomatoes, red wine, and garlic cooking in olive oil, I highly recommend it. It’s the kind of smell I would happily wear as perfume, if only I could bottle it. We used Mexican chorizo–the raw, squishy kind–which gave the sauce a sharp sour-chili warmth and a slight bitterness. You could just as easily use the hard-cured Spanish chorizo, which would give a sweeter, smokier flavor and provide more of a chewy texture contrast with the noodly-crisp squash. Either way, the squash will drink up the fatty, winey sauce and become far more delicious than a vegetable has any right to be.
Spaghetti Squash with Chorizo and Tomatoes (serves 4-6)
Adapted from Daisy’s World
2 medium spaghetti squash (about 3 lb each)
1 tsp olive oil, plus more for drizzling the squash
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 lb Mexican (soft) chorizo or Spanish (hard) chorizo
1 small red onion OR 2 medium shallots, diced
4 large or 6-8 small garlic cloves, minced
4 ripe plum tomatoes, diced OR 1 (15 oz) can diced tomatoes, drained
1/2 cup dry red wine
1/4 cup chopped fresh sage
1/2 cup finely grated Manchego or Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 375º F, and lightly grease a baking sheet. Trim the ends off the squash, then use a large sharp knife to carefully cut the squash in half lengthwise. Use a spoon to scrape out the seeds and stringy innards. (Save the seeds, if you like–you can roast them just like pumpkin seeds!)
Place the spaghetti squash halves cut side up on the baking sheet. Drizzle the squash lightly with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until the squash is tender and lightly browned around the edges. (There may be some juices that accumulate in the center of the squash halves; this is fine.) Remove the squash from the oven and let sit until it’s cool enough to handle, then use a fork to scrape the flesh until it separates into strands. Scoop the flesh into a bowl, and discard the skins. Set aside.
While the squash cools, cut or crumble the sausage into bite-sized pieces (if using Mexican chorizo, remove it from the casing first). Set aside.
In a large deep-sided skillet, heat 1 tsp olive oil over medium heat. Add the chorizo and cook, stirring frequently, for 3-4 minutes, or until the chorizo is starting to brown around the edges. Add onion or shallots and cook for another 5-6 minutes, or until the onion or shallots are translucent and the chorizo is golden. Add garlic and cook for another 30 seconds to a minute, or until incredibly fragrant. Add tomatoes and wine and continue cooking for 2-3 minutes, or until the tomatoes have softened and the wine has reduced to a thin film on the bottom of the pan.
Add spaghetti squash and sage to the pan, and toss to combine. Remove from the heat and toss in Parmesan. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve warm. Leftovers will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days, or in the freezer for up to a month.