Spaghetti Squash Casserole

1 small spaghetti squash (1-1/2 to 2 pounds)
1/2 cup water
1 pound turkey sausage
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped sweet red pepper
1 garlic clove, minced
1 cup cherry tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded mozzarella
1/2 cup (2 ounces) feta cheese
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

Cut squash in half lengthwise; scoop out seeds. Place with cut side down on a foiled and greased baking sheet. Cover and bake at 375° for 20-30 minutes or until it is easily pierced with a fork (take out and let cool). When cool enough to handle, scoop out squash, separating the strands with a fork. But while the squash is cooling, in a skillet, cook sausage, onion, red pepper and garlic until meat is browned and the vegetables are tender. Drain; add tomatoes, oregano, salt, pepper and squash. Cook and stir for 1-2 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Transfer to an un-greased 1-1/2-qt. baking dish. Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 25 minutes. Sprinkle with the cheese and parsley; let stand a few minutes.

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Butternut Squash Risotto

1 medium butternut squash (about 1 pound)
24 sage leaves
Salt and pepper
7 to 8 cups chicken stock
1 medium onion
5 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 cups Arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup Parmigiano Reggiano, grated

Peel and clean the squash, then dice it into very small cubes. Put the diced squash in a heavy-bottomed pan with a few whole sage leaves, salt and 1 cup of the chicken stock. Bring to a simmer and cook until tender, but not too soft, about 5 to 10 minutes. Meanwhile, chop 6 sage leaves fine and cut the onion into small dice.

Heat the rest of the stock and hold at a low simmer. In another heavy-bottomed saucepan, heat 3 tablespoons of butter, add the chopped sage and cook for a minute or so; add the onion and continue to cook over medium heat until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the rice and a pinch of salt and cook over low heat for about 3 minutes, stirring often, until the rice has turned slightly translucent. Turn up the heat and pour in the white wine. When the wine has been absorbed, add just enough hot stock to cover the rice, stir well and reduce the heat.

Keep the rice at a gently simmer and continue to add more stock, a ladle or two at a time, letting each addition be absorbed by the rice. While the rice is cooking, saute the remaining sage leaves in butter until crisp.

After 15 minutes, the rice will be nearly cooked. Stir in the cooked squash, the rest of the butter and the cheese. Continue cooking for 3 to 5 minutes, stirring often. Taste for texture and consistency, adding more stock if necessary. Adjust the seasoning. When done, serve in warm bowls and garnish with crisp sage leaves, and more cheese if desired.

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