Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Sausage Stuffing in an Acorn Squash Container

2 whole acorn squash
1 tsp olive oil
1/2 pound pork sausage
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1/4 cup butter
1/2 large onion (about a cup), chopped
2 stalks of celery, chopped
3 cloves of garlic
1-2 tsp. chopped fresh rosemary
Salt and Pepper (to taste)
1 large red apple, chopped
1/2 cup chopped pecans
3/4 cup fine bread crumbs
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Heat oven to 400 degrees.

Chop a small slice off each end of the acorn squash, then cut them in half and take out the seeds. Stand the acorn squash on the flat side on a low-sided baking dish. Rub olive oil over the cut side of the squash and salt and pepper each half. Bake in the oven for about 30-40 minutes (depending on the size of the squash), just until tender crisp.

While squash is baking, brown the pork sausage in a large frying pan. Add red pepper flakes while it is frying unless you already are using a spicy sausage. Fry until pink is gone and drain sausage on paper towel to remove most of the grease.

Add butter to the pan and cook onion and celery until soft. Add the garlic, rosemary, salt and pepper until fragrant. Add the apple and pecans and stir well. Sprinkle the bread crumbs on top until mixed into the sausage. The mixture should begin to look like stuffing and begin to crisp up a bit. Turn off the heat and stir in 1/2 cup of the Parmesan cheese, reserving the rest.

Divide the sausage mixture equally into the 4 halves of the squash, mounding on top if necessary. Place back into the oven for 15 minutes. Sprinkle the remaining Parmesan cheese on top of the squash-sausage and heat for 5 more minutes or until cheese is melted and top is browned and squash is soft.

Total baking time is between 50-60 minutes. You can pre-cook the squash in the microwave oven to shorten the baking time.

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