A few months ago the display went out on my microwave. Upon further investigation I discovered that it wasn't just the display that had shorted out, it was the entire microwave. My first instinct was of course to buy a new one. But once I thought about it I couldn't remember the last time either Dave or I had used it. We laughed at the fact that a useless appliance had been taking up so much counter space in our tiny kitchen. Then spaghetti squash season returned :-P
For those of you lucky enough to have a microwave, poke holes in squash(es) and microwave for 10 minutes. Once squash has cooled, cut in half lengthwise, remove seeds and scrape the strands out with a fork and transfer to an extra large bowl. Otherwise cut in half lengthwise, remove seeds, and place cut sides down in 1/2 inch water in a baking pan. Bake on 375 for 40 minutes. Let cool, remove seeds and scrape strands into an extra large bowl.
1 lb. sweet Italian sausage (I used spicy chicken sausage from Trader Joes)
4 cloves garlic, cracked and chopped
1 med. onion, finely chopped (1/2 cup)
1 bay leaf, dried
4-6 sprigs fresh sage leaves, chopped
1 cup dry white wine
1 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup low fat evaporated milk
1 cup canned pumpkin
1/8 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
Course salt and black pepper
Romano or Parmigiano cheese for grating
Heat a large, deep nonstick skillet over med. high heat. Add 1 tbsp of olive oil to the pan and brown the sausage in it. Transfer sausage to paper towel lined plate. Drain fat from skillet and return pan to the stove. Add the remaining 1 tbsp oil, and then the garlic and onion. Saute 3-5 minutes until the onion is tender.
Add bay leaf, sage, and wine to the pan. Reduce wine to half, about 2 minutes. Add stock and pumpkin and stir to combine, stirring sauce until it comes to a bubble. Return sausage to pan, reduce heat, and stir in evaporated milk. Season the sauce with the cinnamon and nutmeg, and salt and pepper to taste. Simmer mixture 5-10 minutes to thicken sauce.
Transfer spaghetti squash into a large pot. Remove the bay leaf from sauce and pour the sausage pumpkin sauce over the squash. Combine sauce and squash and toss over low heat for 1 minute. Garnish with lots of shaved cheese and sage leaves.