Something is undoubtedly off when I'm uninspired to cook. You've likely noticed that I've not been around these parts much at all this summer. Occasionally the planets will align and I catch a glimmer enthusiasm, but mostly this season has been a succession of missed opportunities. What's more - you should see my garden. Let's just say that my neighbours and the food bank are happy to receive all the food that I have lovingly grown and can't bring myself to do something with. At least it's not a total loss.
Cooking, for me, is more than just about body nourishment, it's about soul nourishment. It is self-care, a creative expression, a meditative process, a source of joy, a chance to share with others, and a cue for deep gratitude. Unfortunately in times of struggle the things we need most tend to be the first to go. This recipe was a good reminder of the happiness that can be found in simple pleasures, even amidst a storm.
One of the things I love most about cooking is that it is simply math and chemistry, if you understand how it works, then recipes are a promise; if you do this, that will happen. This recipe is a promise of good things. Maybe you don't need your spirits lifted right now, maybe you do, either way this recipe is here for you. The meal you'll create will be absolutely beautiful, surprisingly simple, and if you're up for it, perfect for sharing with friends. Just look at that picture above, it's a celebration on a plate. It is also a perfect recipe for the transition of seasons we currently find ourselves in. Take a moment to celebrate all those end-of-summer foods that are still abundant, while embracing the arrival of "oven season" and fall bounty.
Recipe notes - the recipe can come together extremely fast if you precook the squash and or pre-make the spaghetti squash mash entirely. I did it all at the same time and it go a little tricky/busy in the oven, but it's doable! It would just be a little smoother if some pre-work was done. Or, perhaps consider serving this with polenta instead of the squash mash?
Roasted Sausage, Tomato and Peach Supper with Parmesan Spaghetti Squash Mash
4-6 Italian sausage links (substitute any sausage links of your choice)
1 medium red onion, sliced into wedges
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
4 cups cherry tomatoes
2 large firm peaches, sliced into wedges
salt and cracked black pepper to taste
1/4 cup fresh oregano leaves
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves
Parmesan spaghetti squash mash (recipe below)
Preheat oven or grill to 400F
Place sausage and onion on a sheet pan and toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Cook for 10 minutes then add cherry tomatoes and peaches, remaining olive oil and season to taste. Continue roasting for another 10-15 minutes until sausage is golden, tomatoes are bubbling and peaches soft. Remove from oven and sprinkle with herbs. Serve on top of Parmesan spaghetti squash mash or polenta.
Parmesan Spaghetti Squash Mash
1 large whole spaghetti squash
4 tablespoons butter
1/2 tablespoon garlic powder
1 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste
Optional to serve: butter, fresh chives
Place whole squash in the microwave and cook on high for 5 minutes. This makes them super easy to cut through. Slice the squash lengthwise and place on a rimmed baking sheet, cut side down.
Cook in a 400F oven until the flesh is tender - depending on the size this will likely take 40-50 minutes.
Remove seeds from squash using a spoon, discard. Scoop the flesh into the bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade attachment. Add remaining ingredients and pulse until it reaches your desired consistency. Or use an immersion blender wand until smooth.