Saturday, September 20, 2014

Paleo Pesto & Sausage "Spaghetti" Bake (Recipe Revisit)

I was so giddy to see spaghetti squash in Trader Joe's yesterday that I bought some without a specific plan or recipe in mind. While I can always find it at Whole Foods, spaghetti squash only show up at TJ's (at least around here) once all of their pumpkin and other fall-related items roll in.

While shopping I decided I'd remake a recipe that was a big hit here back in winter, using homemade pesto, sausage and an almond meal crumble to top things off. I wanted to reshare the recipe along with my go-to formula for paleo pesto.

While you can buy very overpriced dairy-free pesto at some specialty shops, it really is easy to make your own! If you don't have basil on hand, you can experiment with subbing in baby spinach or arugula for some or all of the herb.

I like to scatter some halved cherry tomatoes on top for both flavor and color.

Paleo Pesto & Sausage "Spaghetti" Bake

1 large spaghetti squash
1 tbs. olive oil
generous amount of salt, pepper, garlic powder & Italian seasoning
1/2 cup homemade paleo pesto (see below)
12 oz. sweet Italian sausage
1/2 cup almond meal
1/4 cup ground flaxseed
2 tbs. coconut oil or butter

Preheat oven to 450.

Cut spaghetti squash in half lengthwise and scrape out seeds. Rub olive oil over squash and season with salt, and pepper. Place cut side down on a baking sheet covered with tin foil.

Bake for 30-40 minutes, reducing oven temp to 400 when you remove squash. Allow cooked squash to sit until cool enough to handle. Using a fork, pull out the interior of the squash into threads and place in a large bowl.

While squash is baking, remove sausage from casing and cook in an oven-proof skillet over medium heat until no longer pink (using a wooden spoon to crumble).

Remove skillet from heat and drain off excess grease. Stir in spaghetti squash threads and pesto.

To make your "crumb" topping put almond meal, flax, oil or butter (NOT melted) in a food processor, along with a generous amount of salt, pepper, garlic and Italian seasoning. Pulse until mixture comes together in a dough.

Drop almond meal mixture over top of skillet.

Place skillet in oven and bake at 400 for 30 minutes.

paleo pesto:
2 cups basil
1/2 cup pine nuts or walnuts
2 garlic cloves
1-2 tbs. nutritional yeast
salt & pepper
1/4 cup olive oil (may use more depending on how thick you like your pesto)

Combine basil, nuts, garlic and nutritional yeast in food processor. Pulse a few times until roughly chopped. With food processor running, slowly pour in olive oil. Continue to mix until it comes together.

Season to taste with salt and pepper and mix again.

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