Monday, October 10, 2016

Zucca Ripiena (Stuffed Butternut Squash)

This was a favorite dish in my last class: "Italian Fall Farmer's Table" at Draeger's. This stuffed butternut squash could be a great addition to your Thanksgiving menu. It looks beautiful on a plate and it is very easy to make. You can substitute the meat with mushrooms for a vegetarian option.

Stuffed Butternut Squash with Caramelized Onions, Sausage

  • 1 butternut squash
  • Olive oil
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste
  • 1 pound Italian sausage, crumbled
  • 1 garlic clove, diced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3/4 cup white wine
  • 1 1/2 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon powdered cumin
  • Ground nutmeg to taste
  • ¼ cup parsley, chopped
Wash the butternut squash and cut it in half (lengthwise). Using a spoon, take off the seeds. Season it with olive oil, salt, pepper and nutmeg. Bake the halves for 35-40 min in a 475F preheated oven, covered with parchment paper.

While squashes are being baked, you can prepare the filling. In a medium saucepan, sauté onions in olive oil until soft and brown. Add sausage, garlic, cumin, salt, pepper and nutmeg, and cook it for around 20-30 minutes, or until completely browned. Deglaze the pan with wine and continue cooking until the wine is evaporated. Add parsley and salt if necessary.
Let the butternut squashes cool down until they can be handle with your hands.

Carefully scoop out the flesh, leaving about 1/2 inch around the edges to keep the squash intact. Combine squashes flesh with sausage filling and half of parmigiano. Stuff the squash shells with this filling. Top with remaining cheese.

Bake Stuffed Butternut Squashes in a preheated oven, under 350F, for 20-25 or until the cheese is melting.