B and I are a special kind of friends. We knew each other throughout college, and had a lot of close mutual friends through various extracurricular interests. Every time I spent time with B, we got into important, interesting conversations, often exceedingly emotional and raw but never awkward. All the friends we had in common stopped keeping in touch with me after college, but B and I, and her boyfriend-turned-husband E, get along famously and whenever we’re in the same city, no matter how busy, we find some way to see each other. I knew they were going to be one of the couples who didn’t know a whole lot of folks at my wedding, but I wanted them there, and they were able to make it.
My wedding was a whirlwind (first and only time a party that big has been for me/about me), but one of the clear memories I have was that in the dance playlist there was a little interlude of bluegrass music – B and I used to contra dance, which is done to old-time tunes and sometimes to bluegrass as well. B found me, in giant white dress, and pulled me to the dance floor for a rollicking jumping-around dance that practically had my fluffy dress taking the place over. I remember it as exhilaration, and I remember it as being connected to someone I rarely get to speak to or spend time with anymore.
I haven’t asked B yet why she chose this recipe, and I have to admit that I exercised a lot of artistic license with my execution of it. Instead of chicken sausage, I had pork, and it was hot and spicy (which worked to my advantage later). Instead of spaghetti squash, I baked up a big round acorn squash and some zucchini – at the grocery store, I’d looked high and low for spaghetti squash but it must have been out of stock. I figured squashes usually took on the flavors of their surroundings, so the hot and spicy sausage and the later liberal sprinklings of cajun seasoning would make it possible to disguise the incorrect squash.
Our substitute for regular cajun seasoning: paprika, coriander, black pepper, oregano, and garlic.
I would love to make it again, especially given that it is essentially the favorite dish of my husband: he loves covering a large pile of vegetables with seasonings, adding either chicken or beef or sausage, and cooking it together until it is all one big delicious stir fry. This was a nice twist but also familiar for him.
The food went especially well with the side dish we ended up making (Sage Polenta with Brussel Sprouts and Mushrooms – coming soon!), and mixing a little bit of this spicy dish with some of the creamy, smooth polenta was perfect. I am a recovering spice wimp, so I still appreciate something that can help me temper heat. Still, winter recipe thumbs up for the hot sausage in this recipe – it makes for a delicious mix.
I had a little daydream while Husband was wolfing down his second portion that B and E could come up and visit us; I imagined that we would play a lot of board games, discuss good wine and their interesting jobs, take them for walks in our town and B and I would talk and talk and talk. We’d, in all likelihood, cry at some point. She’d give me advice on marriage. As I ate another big forkful of sausage surprise, I felt warmed by it, and warmed by my daydream.
Spaghetti Squash and Sausage Surprise
What you need:
- 1 Spaghetti Squash
- Green, red, and yellow peppers (I used orange… haha)
- pack of chicken sausage
- cajun seasoning (we sub pesto too!)
- mozzerella cheese… amount, who knows? as much as you’d like.
- Preheat 350`F – cook squash whole for 30 minutes and 30 minutes after flipping the sqush.
- Slice hot-dog length and fork out seeds and goop.
- Then fork into “spaghetti noodles” (I missed out on this and just threw in chunks of acorn squash).
- Slice peppers and sausage.
- Skillet on medium; until brown. Add cajun seasoning, we use lots!
- Throw peppers, sausage to bowl of “spaghetti” and add cheese to your liking!