Photo by Laura Chase de Formigny and food styling by Carolyn Robb; for The Washington Post
Here, roasted halves of spaghetti squash serve as edible bowls filled with a savory, saucy mixture of sage-perfumed white beans, greens and just enough poultry sausage to offer a punch of flavor while keeping the dish in the healthful zone. Curly or Lacinato kale leaves, or spinach, may be substituted for the escarole, if desired.
2 medium spaghetti squash (about 3 pounds each)
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 small onion, diced (about 1 cup)
6 ounces (about 2 links) Italian-style sweet chicken sausage, casings removed and crumbled
3 cloves garlic, sliced
1 medium head escarole, rinsed, drained and roughly chopped (about 8 cups)
One (14-ounce) can low-sodium cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage leaves (or 1 teaspoon dried)
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Position the rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 400 degrees.
Cut the stem end off each squash, then cut each squash in half lengthwise, scoop out the seeds and brush the cut sides with 1 tablespoon of the oil. Place the squash halves, cut side down, on a large, rimmed baking pan and roast for about 40 minutes, until softened and the cut sides are browned.
While the squash halves roast, in a large deep skillet, heat the remaining tablespoon of oil. Add the onion and cook until softened, about 3 minutes. Stir in the sausage and cook until browned, breaking it up with a spoon as it cooks, about 5 to 8 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute more. Add the escarole and cook until wilted, about 3 minutes. Add the beans, chicken broth, sage, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper and simmer until the mixture is heated through and the liquid is reduced by about half, 3 to 5 minutes.
When the squash is ready, remove it from the oven and preheat the broiler to low. Flip the squash over on the sheet pan, cut side up, and fill each half with the sausage mixture. Sprinkle with the cheese. Broil about 3 minutes, until the cheese is melted and browned. Divide the squash halves among 4 plates and serve.
Makes 4 servings
Per serving: Calories 460; Total Fat 17g; (Sat Fat 4g); Protein 9g; Carb 68g; Fiber 15g; Cholesterol 35mg; Sodium 590mg; Total Sugar 2g