Fall is my favorite season. It gives me the opportunity to reflect, to turn inward. It provides landscapes ablaze with color and crunchy leaves to step through. Fall is the season of woodsmoke, boots by the front door, cozy flannel, and also for hearty squash. Here in the Pacific Northwest, we are so fortunate to have farms like Jubilee who leap at the chance to grow such an incredible variety of these versatile vegetables. The fruit of these vines form the backbone of many of our meals at this time of year and are a rich source of nourishment. To eat squash is to get a warm hug from the season itself. This simple recipe makes a lovely simple supper or a side dish for a more extravagant affair. Give in to the season and let it hold all of your senses in its embrace.
Spaghetti Squash with Ricotta, Sage, and Pecans
1 large spaghetti squash
2 tablespoons butter or olive oil
6 to 8 fresh sage leaves
3/4 cup ricotta
Zest from 1 orange or lemon
2 cloves garlic, grated
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup pecans, toasted
1 tablespoon honey
1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Cut squash in half, lengthwise. Remove seeds and sprinkle inside with salt. Place cut side down on a baking sheet and bake until tender and easily pierced with a fork, about 1 hour.
2. Remove squash from oven and let cool for 5 to 10 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, heat the butter or olive oil in a sauté pan. Quickly fry sage leaves until crispy and place on a paper towel. Reserve butter. In a large bowl, combine ricotta, citrus zest and garlic. Set aside.
4. Use a fork to remove strands of spaghetti squash from the shell. Add squash to the bowl with the ricotta mixture.
5. Toss squash with ricotta mixture and add salt and pepper to taste.
6. Sprinkle with pecans and sage leaves, then top with the sage butter from the pan and a light drizzle of honey.