Thanksgiving Recipes: Chef Clay Conley's Spaghetti Squash Gratin

As much as Thanksgiving is about the turkey, what most people really care about is the side dishes.

For the most part, however, our favorite accouterments tend to stick to the same few menu items. From mashed potatoes and gravy to green bean casserole to stuffing and its many incarnations, as much as we love them, even the most well-prepared dishes get kind of old year after year.

Unless, of course, you're a two time James Beard nominated chef.

We spoke to Clay Conley of Buccan about his Thanksgiving traditions and recipes -- and we managed to pick up a recipe for one of his favorite side dishes.

See Also: Ten Best Chefs in Palm Beach County

In a similar vein to the rest of us Conley tends to stick to the same dishes year after year.

"I usually bone out the turkey, confit the back legs and shred them, mix it with a chestnut and mushroom stuffing, and roll it down the center of the white meat and sous vide the whole thing," said Conley.

For sides he usually goes for a butternut squash soup, some variation of brussel sprout, a fresh cranberry sauce, and spaghetti squash gratin.

Yes, we all want to eat dinner at the Conley home. Since we can't, how about whipping up a Conley-style dish to impress your loved ones?

Fortunately, he was willing to dish out the recipe for his spaghetti squash gratin.

Spaghetti Squash Gratin

One spaghetti squash, halved

Quarter pound butter

Two teaspoons sage, chopped

Two cups heavy cream

Half cup parmesan

1/8 cup toasted bread crumbs

1/8 cup pecans, chopped and toasted

Six amaretti cookies

Step One: Preheat oven to 350 degress, Cut the squash in half and season with salt and pepper.

Step Twp: Roast at 350 degrees for one hour.

Step Three: Remove the squash and shred the meat with a fork.

Step Four: In a large pot, over medium heat, cook butter until it browns; it will start to smell slightly nutty.

Step Five: Add sage and then cream. Reduce it by half.

Step Six: Add the squash and simmer for ten minutes.

Step Seven: Remove the pot from heat and add all but an 1/8 cup of the parmesan and mix.

Step Eight: Pour the mixture into a casserole dish, top with remaining ingredients, and broil until bubbly.

Buccan is located at 350 S. County Road in Palm Beach. Call 561-833-3450, or visit buccanpalmbeach.com.

Follow Sara Ventiera on Twitter, @saraventiera.

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