Squash 101

Tonight's dinner is what I call an improvisation.  A forced improvisation.  Allow me to explain.  Earlier in the week I had asked J to go to the store and pick up a spaghetti squash, being an amateur he came home with a butternut squash.  Hmmm...looks like we need a lesson in squash 101.  Here is the difference: (courtesy of wikipedia)
Butternut squash - is a winter squash.  It has a sweet, nutty taste, similar to pumpkin.  It is typically roasted and toasted and used in soups, casseroles, breads and muffins.

Spaghetti squash - is a winter squash that is commonly used as a substitute to pasta.  When cooked the flesh falls away from the fruit in ribbons or strands.  It can be served with or without sauce.

I'm confident J is now well versed in all things squash related.  What can I say, I'm a good teacher.  However, should he ever need a reference point he now has one.  Oh, he also has an iphone, so I'm certain this won't happen again.

Anyways, J's supermarket mishap yielded a fantastic, flavourful and spontaneous supper.  I guess 'thanks' is in order.  What was going to be lunch of spaghetti squash with roasted red pepper sauce, turned into a great dinner, perfect for autumn and colder weather.  Who knew mistakes could taste so delicious.

Sausage, Spinach and Roasted Butternut Squash

1 chicken sausage
1 butternut squash, peeled, halved, seeded and pulp removed
1/2 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 Tbsp dried rosemary
salt and pepper
1/2 Tbsp olive oil (skillet)
1/2 red onion, thick chop
2 cloves of garlic, minced
3 cups spinach
2 Tbsp pine nuts

Preheat oven to 350F.  Line baking sheet with aluminium foil, sprayed with nonstick cooking spray.
Place two halves of squash, cut side down on board, cut into 1-inch cubes.  Transfer to baking sheet, top with 1/2 tablespoon olive oil, rosemary, salt and pepper.
Roast for 30-35 minutes, or until tender.  Turning once halfway.  Remove from heat.  Allow to sit.
Meanwhile, preheat BBQ or indoor grill, cook sausages over low-medium heat until desired internal temperature is reached, approximately 15 minutes.  Turning occasionally.
In nonstick skillet heat remaining 1/2 tablespoon olive oil over medium high heat.  Add onion, cook till tender 4-6 minutes.  Reduce heat to medium, add in spinach, cook till wilted, approximately 2-3 minutes turning often.  Add garlic and salt and pepper.  Cook for 1 minute.  Remove from heat.
Divide squash and spinach mixture evenly among 2 plates.  Cut sausage and serve on top.  Sprinkle with pine nuts.


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