Roast Stuffed Squash “Bowls”
When squash is here, you can always find me near! I absolutely love the seasonality of the Earth- it really puts into perspective that everything is changing and that nothing is permanent. Also, how boring is that? It’s good to mix it up and get creative with what’s coming into season, as well as what’s on its way out. When I saw these round cue-ball like squash at the market I wanted to do something different with them, so I stuffed them!
All the veggies in this recipe are summer/late summer vegetables, and if you live in the Northern Hemisphere should be fairly easy to find at a local market or well stocked local farm centered grocer.
Since these squash are a little dense they do well with a slight par-cooking. I cut the squash about a couple centimeters below the stem, and used the portion of edible squash for the stuffing. The other vegetables I found were corn, bell peppers, onion, garlic, and sage for the fall feel. It’s important to remember that cutting the vegetables to approximately the same size allows everything to cook evenly together. Since I wanted to make this a little more Mediterranean in flavor I opted for some de-cased Italian sausage and I used the Mediterranean Herbed Ghee as my cooking oil choice.
For my sauce, I had some cherry tomatoes that were past their prime, so I broiled them with a couple cloves of garlic and mashed them into a sauce. If you don’t have the will or the time to go down that path, just use your favorite tomato sauce- canned, homemade, store bought, your call!
- Full Circle Ghee Mediterranean Herb
- 3-4 Cue ball Squash, tops removed
- 1 bell pepper, any color; deseeded and chopped.
- 2 ears of corn, kernels cut away from ear
- 1 pound Italian sausage
- 1 onion; chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic; minced
- 1/4 cup Red Wine Vinegar
- Several sage leaves
- Tomato sauce, or you can roast 1 pint of cherry tomatoes in broiler for 10 minutes and mash together.
- Parmesan, or goat cheese for the top.
- Prepare your veggies! Cut and boil the squash for about 10-15 minutes, depending on the size. Let them cool and scoop out the insides. It will still be a little firm so just use a spoon and a little elbow grease. Medium dice all your vegetables for the filling. You really want all the vegetables to be the same size- around the size of a kernel of corn. Put aside.
- Start by de-casing your Italian sausage. If you have loose sausage, you can skip this step.
- Add some Mediterranean Herbed Ghee to the skillet and cook your sausage. Transfer to a bowl and set aside. Leave the oil in the skillet. You should have a fair amount of “fond” in the pan- this is the technical term for all the browned bits at the bottom of the pan.
- Add your veggies, aromatics, and using a wooden spatula scrape up all the burnt bits and saute for about 10 minutes or until all the veg has cooked down and evaporated most of its water.
- Using the red wine vinegar, deglaze your pan. I typically use wine for this, but I like to use vinegar when the resulting dish is expected to be a little more on the rich side. Vinegar helps to counter the richness, in addition to providing some acidity to the finished dish.
- Add the cooked sausage and stir to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Set aside.
- Using a spoon, scoop the meat/veggie mixture into the “bowls” of squash. After every few spoonfuls, use the rounded side of the spoon to press the mixture into the squash. Stuff until there is just a little sticking out of the top.
- Ladle your sauce onto the tops of the squash “bowls” and make sure to give them plenty.
- Place in the oven at 350 for about 20-25 minutes. You’re looking to get some nice browning on the tops, but be careful to avoid burning.
Serve as a main course, or make just a few and serve as a warm appetizer. This dish is heart enough to be eaten alone, but also light enough for it to be eaten alongside a bigger meal.