Thursday, October 23, 2008

Wild Rice and Sausage Stuffed Acorn Squash

I love squash. And so I've been loading up on many varieties at the farmers' market. Recently, I came across a great recipe for Wild Rice and Sausage Stuffed Acorn Squash. I found the recipe online at Lunds and Byerlys, a Minneapolis specialty gourmet grocery chain. I modified the recipe a bit since I didn't have the recommended Lunds and Byerlys special seasonings on hand. I think it still turned out great and the bowls looked beautiful. The meal was delicious, filling, and also seemed quite healthy. Always a bonus.

1 (1 lb.) acorn squash, halved, seeds removed
1 tbsp. olive oil
8 oz. bulk Italian sausage
2 tsp. Italian herb seasoning
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 tsp. minced garlic
salt and pepper to taste
1 (10 oz.) package frozen spinach, thawed, squeezed dry
1 cup cooked wild rice
1 1/2 cups shredded provolone and mozzarella, divided

Arrange squash halves cut side down in 13X9 microwavable baking dish; add ¼ cup water. Cover tightly with plastic wrap, using multiple sheets if necessary. With a knife, make 4 steam vents in plastic wrap. Microwave (HIGH) until tender (15-20 minutes).

While squash is cooking, heat olive oil in skillet over medium heat. Sauté sausage, Italian herb seasoning, red pepper, onion and garlic until sausage is no longer pink and onions are tender (8-10 minutes). Season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir in spinach, wild rice and 1 cup provolone/mozzarella.

When squash is tender, carefully remove plastic wrap, starting from side farthest from you. Using tongs, transfer cooked squash to cutting board; discard water.

Place a tablespoon of butter in bottoms of each squash half. Mound sausage mixture into halves. Return to 13X9 dish, cover with foil and bake in preheated 350F oven for 10-15 minutes. Remove foil and sprinkle remaining ½ cup cheese over tops, return to oven and bake until cheese melts (5-8 minutes).

Amount: 4 servings

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