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Roasted Spaghetti Squash with a Spicy Meat Sauce

When in the mood for traditional Italian dishes, but perhaps not the heaviness of pasta, a simple and tasty alternative is roasted spaghetti squash. The flavorful squash shreds into long, noodle-like strands and pairs amazingly well with classic Italian ingredients. Surprise your family or guests by creating their favorite pasta dishes with spaghetti squash. Served with a salad and a glass of 2014 Le Concierge Pays d'Oc Merlot, you'll have a not-so-heavy twist on the traditional spaghetti dish!

Ingredients: (makes 4 servings)

For the spaghetti squash:

  • 1 medium spaghetti squash
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 450° F. Slice the squash in half from tip to end and scoop out the seeds. Brush the inside flesh with olive oil, sprinkling with thyme, salt and pepper as desired.

Place cut side down on the center of a baking dish, and roast in the oven for 45 minutes. While the squash is cooking, make the meat sauce.

For the meat sauce:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 links hot Italian sausage, casing removed
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 4 ounces white button mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • Splash of red wine
  • 1 14.5-ounce can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
  • Parmesan cheese

Heat the olive oil in a medium sauce pan over medium-high heat. Once oil is shimmering, add the sausage and cook until done, breaking it up into crumbly pieces, about 8 minutes. Add the vegetables and tomato paste, and stir until combined. Add the splash of red wine and deglaze the pan before incorporating the diced tomatoes. Simmer, stirring on occasion, for 20 to 25 minutes.

Remove the spaghetti squash from the oven and allow to cool slightly. Using a cloth, hold the squash in one hand and scrape the flesh with a fork. It will shred into long noodles that resemble spaghetti.

Portion the squash noodles among four plates, topping with the meat sauce and Parmesan cheese.

With that, a tastefully surprising twist on dinner is served!