I came up with this recipe very organically. I was craving a specific flavor and wanted to bring it to life. I wanted to create a light, chunky red sauce from scratch with what I had in my pantry.
I imagined how I wanted it to taste. Not too heavy, big pieces of juicy tomatoes, lots of onion, garlic, and veggies. Tons of flavor! So from there I raided my pantry and created the first version of this dish.
I was really happy with the result but knew I could tweak it and make it better the next time I wanted to make it. Round two of this recipe totally nailed the exact flavor profile and textures I wanted. I'm so excited to share it with you!
I tend to make large portions so I have leftovers to eat throughout the week. the recipe below will make 6 servings easily. I was only making it for 2 people, so there was a lot leftover - no complaints!
1 medium spaghetti squash
Extra virgin olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
4 or 5 "on the vine" tomatoes, chopped into bite-sized pieces (heirloom or beefsteak tomatoes would work well too - use whatever looks best at your grocery store!)
1 can of diced, fire-roasted tomatoes (this adds great flavor)
3 cloves of garlic, minced
32 oz. of chicken stock or vegetable stock
4 stalks of celery, chopped (if you have the celery leaves on your stalks, chop them up and use them too! they add great flavor!)
2 cups cremini (baby bella) mushrooms, chopped
(Carrots are also a great veggie in this primavera. I used them in my first variation because I had them on hand)
1 small bunch of kale, chopped
salt, pepper, oregano, thyme, rosemary to taste (I don't measure my spices when I add them! I just season, then taste)
24 oz. or 2 packages of your favorite chicken sausage
The process of creating this sauce is VERY simple. It's a one-pan wonder!
You'll start with the onions and continue to add the other veggies and spices in layers as they cook.
The key with this sauce is letting everything simmer together to get the most out of the flavors of each ingredient.
I don't do anything "fancy" or "technical" here so don't let the length of the instructions intimidate you, I'm just breaking down the process of when I add each ingredient and seasoning.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Cut your spaghetti in half longways. Scoop out and discard the seeds. Rub a small amount of olive oil on the inside of the squash and place face down on a baking pan/cookie sheet.
Bake squash for 40 minutes or until edges begin to brown and you can easily pierce the squash with a fork. (While your squash is baking, you'll make your primavera sauce. Everything should be ready to eat at about the same time!)
In a large pan, heat about 2 tablespoons of olive oil.
Add your onions to the hot oil and let them cook down for about 5 minutes.
Add vine-ripened tomatoes and the can of diced, fire-roasted tomatoes. Stir together and season with salt and pepper.
As the onions begin to become translucent and the tomatoes breakdown, add your minced garlic and stir. Let this cook together for another 2 or 3 minutes, moving the veggies around the pan every 30 seconds or so to make sure the garlic doesn't burn.
Add enough broth to cover the bottom of the pan, celery leaves, chopped celery, and chopped mushrooms. Stir together and season with oregano, thyme, and rosemary. Cover and let simmer for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
While your sauce is simmering, chop your chicken sausage into bite-sized coins. I like to chop them on the thinner side so they can disperse throughout the sauce better and there is a good ratio of sausage in every bite!
Add sausage and 2 cups of broth to the pan. If your veggies have soaked up almost all of the broth, add more than 2 cups. At this point, you want there to be a good amount of liquid in the pan for everything to simmer in. Don't be shy, it's a sauce, not a saute, so you want there to be a good amount of liquid here. Let this simmer for at least 5 minutes.
Taste your broth for flavor and season as needed.
Add kale and the remainder of your broth. Let simmer until the kale cooks down and softens.
At this point, you can turn your pan to low heat and leave simmering for as long as you need. The flavors will only become more vibrant!
When your squash is done, remove it from the oven. With a fork, "rake" the inside of the squash so the squash begins to pull apart into "spaghetti".
Then you're ready to go. Place squash noodles in a blow and top with your primavera chicken sausage sauce on top! Enjoy!