This past Saturday was a cold, drizzly, gray kind of day and I had a craving for all things cozy. With no plans, which is unfortunately more common than not, I decided to do some comfort cooking. I know that type of food is usually reserved for Sunday's but I've had a major carb craving since the middle of the week. I channeled my inner nonna and tried my hand at homemade pasta sauce and a (separate) sausage and apple stuffed squash. I was impressed with the pasta sauce I made, it had a bit of kick but I should have let the meat brown longer for more depth. The squash stuffing was a delicious harvest mix of apples, pecans, sausage and mushrooms but I forgot to season the squash before adding the stuffing resulting in the squash itself being a bit bland.
Errors aside, I wanted to pass on the stuffed squash recipe. I'm working out the kinks of the pasta sauce, so maybe I'll post that another day. What I love about the stuffed squash recipe is its flexibility. You can use any kind of sausage, change up the type of nut, or add dried fruit. You will need,
2 medium acorn squash
2 links of sweet Italian sausage, casings removed (can also be done with meatless sausage or any kind, really)
5-6 baby bella mushrooms, sliced thin
1 MacIntosh apple, diced
1/2 cup diced onion
1/4 cup pecans
3/4 cup bread crumbs
Sage (fresh or dried)
Parsley (fresh or dried)
1 tbsp unsalted butter
Heat the oven to 425 and roast the squash whole for 25 minutes. Remove them from the oven and let them cool before slicing them in half and removing the seeds. Lower the oven temperature to 4oo. Melt the butter and add a few dashes of sage. Brush butter mixture in the cavity of each squash.
Add the sausage to the pan and brown. Remove with a slotted spoon, leaving the oil and set aside. Add the onions and mushrooms. Add a few dashes of garlic powder. When the onions are fragrant (about 5 minutes) add the apple. Cook another 2 minutes and remove from heat.
Combine the sausage, vegetables, and pecans in a bowl together. Add more sage and parsley. Add bread crumbs and mix. Add the egg and mix until combined, do not overmix.
Fill each squash with the stuffing, it can be mounded.
Cook in the oven for 25 minutes until tops are slightly browned. Serve warm.
They come out rather nicely, don't they? Served with a soup or salad it's a great meal for entertaining, which is exactly what I did. I had my parents over for some Modern Family and a cozy fall dinner. It might not be a Saturday night soiree but it made the day a little less gray. Until the next dish, ciao!