Stuffed Acorn Squash

Squash was one of my favorite foods when I was a kid, and I’m not even joking. Like, the pureed baby food kind, but I ate it way into my single digits (till the age of 9) or until my mom stopped serving it to us, along with lima beans (I love those too). Somewhere along the line, my parents stopped trying to feed us healthy and started buying butterscotch krimpets and soda and frozen meals for us to eat after school. It’s no surprise that I was a little husky in my early adolescence. Should have never given up the squash. Anyway, it’s fall, and I felt obliged to make something with these at least once. Found Alton Brown’s recipe, for stuffed squash which is basically stuffing (a la thanksgiving) with rice instead of bread. I alter slightly with walnuts instead of pine nuts. Didn’t have spinach on hand, but you could use up whatever greens you have to spruce this up. I used prepared, raw sausage because it’s seasoned so well. I also added sage to really give it that Thanksgiving stuffing flavor.

Stuffed Acorn Squash

servings 4

Ingredients

  • 4 medium sized acorn squash
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked rice
  • 4 small natural casing sausages
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 stalk celery
  • 1 small onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup walnuts, chopped
  • white wine
  • salt and pepper
  • sage leaves

Preparation.

First cook the raw sausage in a saute pan. The reason for using prepared sausage is because the meat is already well seasoned and pre-portioned. To remove from casing, break apart or cut open the end of the casing and squeeze the filling out over the pan, kind of like emptying a tube of toothpaste. Throw out the casings. Break up the sausage with a spatula or wooden spoon and let cook completely. Once cooked, remove from the pan and put aside. Mince celery, onion, garlic and carrot and sautee in the pan with the sausage juices with a tablespoon of olive oil and generous pinch of salt and pepper. Add sage and whatever herbs you have on hand. Thyme or marjoram are also really nice here. When the veggies start to soften, and stick to the pan, add a splash of white wine. Continue cooking and return the sausage and rice to the pan, then the chopped walnuts. Turn off heat and put aside.

Preheat the oven to 400. Prepare the squash. Clean and slice off a piece at the bottom to give the squash a flat base. Remove the top (intact), and put aside. Clean out the cavity with a spoon, getting all the stringiest pulp and seeds and place a pat of butter in the bottom of each squash. Fill with stuffing. Cover wth the squash top. Place the stuffed squash on a baking sheet in the oven for roughly 50 minutes to an hour.

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