Friday, September 24, 2010

Baked "Spaghetti"

My sweetie traveled all week and said his stomach hurt from all of the eating out.  This was my creation for his "welcome home" dinner.  I really wanted to try a chicken satay, but didn't get my chicken marinating (maybe tomorrow?).  Of course, his rental had a flat and he didn't get home until late...but he thought it was a great lunch today:)  I'm always looking for inspiration and this one comes from a baked spaghetti dish my best friend's mom made.

  • Ghee or other oil 
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 bell peppers, diced (I used one red and one orange)
  • Mushrooms, diced, about 8 oz or so
  • 1.5 pounds sausage (look for a kind with no nitrates, and if you can find it, no sugar)
  • Olives, sliced or diced (I had about 10 sitting in the 'fridge)
  • 3-4 cups spaghetti sauce (homemade or jarred -- if jarred, look for one with no sugar, and if you're really hardcore, no alcohol)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes, or to taste
  • 3-4 zucchinis, sliced lengthwise
  • 2/3 cup macadamia nuts, crushed
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Heat ghee or oil in a large skillet or pot (big enough for veggies, meat, and sauce)
  3. Chop veggies (onion, peppers, mushrooms).
  4. Saute veggies until they are tender, but not brown.
  5. Add sausage and cook until no longer pink.
  6. Add olives, spaghetti sauce, garlic, and red pepper flakes.
  7. Simmer for a few minutes to allow the flavor to meld.
  8. Slice zucchinis.  If you have a mandolin, you can make pretty fast work of this.  I cut them longways (is that even a word?), for a long "noodle".
  9. Crush macadamia nuts.  You could whirl them fast in your food processor or take out the stress of the day and use a meat mallet
  10. Pour a ladle-full of sauce on the bottom of your baking dish.  Put a layer of zucchini "noodles".  Then add more sauce.  Layer until you are finished, ending with a layer of sauce and covering all of the zucchini.  Top with nuts.
  11. Put in the oven and bake between 15-20 minutes, or until nuts are browned, but not burnt.  Then, cover loosely with foil and bake another 15-20 minutes.  Remove, serve, and enjoy.  It might be a little "saucey", depending upon how thick your sauce is.

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