1 pound nitrate-free bulk Italian sausage
8 plum tomatoes or the equivalent in tomatoes you have on hand (I used a variety from our garden.)
1 small eggplant, peeled and cut into 1-inch dice
1 medium to large spaghetti squash
1 large bunch (approximately 1 cup) fresh basil, cut in thin ribbons or "chiffonade"
1/4 cup chopped black olives
1/3 to 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
3-5 cloves fresh garlic, minced
1/2 tsp sea salt
|Cutting an X in the tomato's end ensures |
the skin peels easily after blanching.
|The skin peels right off at the X.|
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Bring water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Using a sharp knife, cut an X in the skin at the bottom end of each tomato. Using a large slotted spoon, gently place tomatoes in the water for 1 minute. Remove from water and let cool. Peel the skin, cut the tomatoes in half, and remove the seeds. Chop into 1-inch dice.
- Place tomatoes, eggplant, and garlic in shallow baking dish and season with salt. Bake for 30-40 minutes.
- In the meantime, pierce the squash several times with a fork or sharp knife, being sure to pierce all the way through to the middle.
- Microwave whole squash at 70 percent power for 15 minutes. Check to see if skin is softened, then continue to microwave in 5 minute increments until skin is very soft and pliable.NOTE: Be sure NOT to cook on full power AND that you pierce the squash all the way through, otherwise, you may end up with a squash explosion in your microwave.
- Remove squash from microwave and let it rest for 5-10 minutes to let it finish steaming.
- Cut squash in half lengthwise. Scoop out and discard the seeds. Scrape squash "noodles" from skin and into a bowl. Reserve half for another use.
- While squash and tomato mixture cooks, saute sausage over medium high heat in a medium skillet until cooked through. Keep warm.
- When tomato mixture is cooked, add sausage to dish and stir to combine. Add to a large bowl with spaghetti squash, basil, and olives. Stir to combine. Serve in shallow bowls. Garnish with a additional basil, if desired.