Spaghetti Squash Puttanesca

This dish is my favourite way to eat Spaghetti Squash!  It helps having great sausage and home-grown roasted tomato sauce too 🙂

Spaghetti Squash Puttanesca Bake

1  spaghetti squash, halved, with seeds removed
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 pound ground pork* or sausage, casings removed, or sliced thinly
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 (24 oz.) jar tomato/marinara sauce, or just roasted, diced tomatoes
3 Tablespoons capers, drained
1/4 cup chopped green olives
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
1/2 cup grated mozzarella cheese

*If using ground pork instead of sausage, season with salt and pepper.


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.  Place the spaghetti squash halves on an oiled baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake for 30-45  minutes, or until it can be pierced with a fork. You want it good and roasty. Set aside until it’s cool enough to handle. I usually do this in the morning or the night before so that the rest of the recipe doesn’t take too long to make. 

Reduce the oven temperature to 375 degrees F.

Meanwhile, add the olive oil to a large skillet on medium-high heat. Add the sausage and cook, breaking it up. (I find our sausage has enough fat that I don’t need the olive oil.)  When it’s nearly cooked through, add the bell pepper and cook until the peppers have softened.

Add the pasta sauce, capers, olives, salt and pepper and stir to combine.

When the squash is cool enough to handle, shred the flesh with a fork, creating spaghetti-like strands, and add them into a 13″x9″ casserole dish.  Discard the squash skins. Pour the sauce over the spaghetti squash and mix it together until it’s totally combined.

Sprinkle with the cheddar and mozzarella cheeses.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until bubbling and the cheese has browned slightly.



Green Lentil and Bacon Salad

from Bon Appetit, May 2001

Yes, a “salad” made with ham and bacon!  But lots of parsley and plump little lentils add balance, resulting in a very tasty, substantial dish. This recipe sounds a whole lot more delicious in french: “Salade de Lentilles Vertes au Lardons”, but it is fantastic no matter what you call it.

Heavenly Green Stew

This is SO good, and is a nice departure from your typical beef stew.  It’s Indian cuisine, and I love how much spinach goes into the sauce, and how creamy it all seems, even though there is only yogourt being used.  This recipe comes from Pure Beef, a very comprehensive cookbook by Lynne Curry, with the subtitle “An Essential Guide to Artisan Meat with Recipes for Every Cut”.

Stovetop Chili

This recipe is an adaption of Pat Crocker and Nettie Cronish’s “Flex Appeal”, a vegetarian cookbook that includes an adaptation for each recipe to satisfy meat-eaters as well. And all the recipes can be prepared in under an hour. I didn’t think I liked chili until I tried this one, but it is fantastic. I always make a double batch and freeze some.

Roast Leg of Lamb

From The Complete Meat Cookbook by Bruce Aidells and Denis Kelly

A roast leg of lamb is really something special. In The Complete Meat Cookbook there are many other rubs that can be used in lieu of the Mustard Rosemary Paste. Just one more reason to get this cookbook!

Moroccan Lamb Cigars

Adapted from Friday Night Dinners by Bonnie Stern

I like to make these as hors d’oeuvres when I’m feeling fancy. They knock everyone’s socks off! You can also use ground beef or chicken.

Caucasus-style Braised Pork Shoulder

From Gourmet magazine

Pork Shoulders are absolutely divine. Divided into the butt, or the slightly tougher picnic, both are amazing in recipes involving braising. If I wanted to really make someone weak in the knees, this recipe would do it. It takes a fair bit of advanced preparation but trust me, the results are well worth it.

Best-Ever Beef Burgers

I first had these at Forks Farm in Pennsylvania, and they truly are the Best Ever. They come from Shannon Hayes’ Grassfed Gourmet cookbook, which was gifted to me by the farmers at Forks Farm after I left. My copy is so worn now it’s time I bought a new one – and if you want to excel at preparing pastured and grassfed meats, you should get one too!

California Beef Stew

This beef stew is my absolute favourite. It’s adapted from The Complete Meat Cookbook by Bruce Aidells and Denis Kelly and is amazing over roasted winter vegetables or mashed potatoes.