When the weather gets a bit cooler, it is time for some hearty meals that are tasty and filling. I do like to cook healthier meals for us most of the time, relying on fresh produce and seasonal fare. Fall squashes are lovely this time of year, and I do like most of them. Recently I wanted to do a stuffed butternut squash as a one dish meal, so I looked in the freezer for inspiration. Pulling out a package of Italian sausage, it seemed like this would be a nice contrast to the sweetness of the squash. I started the dish by cutting a butternut in half longways.
Place cut side down in a baking dish. Bake at 350º for 50-60 minutes, until done.
Remove from oven and let them cool a bit while you do the filling. This is so you can handle the shells without burning your fingers.
Get out onion, sausage and some cheeses. I used mozzarella and Parmesan.
You know, the proportions are not important on this kind of dish. I used one pound of sausage, with about 1/2 cup of chopped onion. Use more or less onion to your taste, add leeks or garlic as you like. Saute onion in a bit of olive oil until translucent.
Add the sausage and cook until no longer pink, breaking up the sausage as you go.
Drain off any grease, then add mushrooms. Saute until mushrooms are soft. You can leave those out if you don’t like mushrooms. You can add anything else you think would be good as well.
Scoop out the butternut a bit to allow room for the filling. Add the pulp to the sausage mixture.
Divide the mixture between the two halves of the squash.
Top with cheeses. I like the white cheeses best for Italian meals, but you can use whatever you like. Monterrey Jack or Provolone would be good too.
Return to the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes, until cheese is melted and lightly browned.
It made so much we split one and then put the rest in the refrigerator.
Full disclosure, this was not a hit with My Sweet Babboo. He didn’t care for the savory and sweet combination, but I liked it. Next time I’ll use acorn squash which isn’t so sweet. Maybe he’ll like that a bit better.
In the mood for more comfort food? Here’s a few more of my dishes, just click on the name of the recipe to link to that post. Leading off, try my Julia Child inspired Chicken Florentine Lasagne.
Try a new take on serving leftovers, including the leftovers from the lasagne above in my post Creative Leftovers.
For a nice side dish, or a meatless main, try Cheesy Baked Acorn Squash.
Quick and easy, make my White Wine Chicken with Mushrooms.
I’ve had precious little time to sew, but I’ll have an update on the quilts for Safelight later in the week. We’ve been playing with our car club friends, and I’ll share a bit of that next weekend. I really need to get to stamping this weekend if I expect to get Christmas cards mailed before the new year. I am looking forward to dressing up this evening for an elegant Christmas gathering with one of our car clubs, a charity benefit for our local food bank. I don’t get to wear my fancy things much, but this time of year I can. So out come my sparkly jackets and big rhinestone earrings, even if I have to wear them with jeans like I did last weekend!! I was so excited when I found a pair of gold sparkly flats at a shoe place while My Sweet Babboo was shopping for a new pair of sneakers. I rarely find things in my size, I wear a 5-1/2. But these were adorable, in my size, and they were on sale, Yahtzee!! I’ve worn them to two parties so far, and maybe will have one more chance at a dinner with friends next week.
I’m reading the next book in the Seasons series by Melanie Lageschulte. It is called The Peaceful Season (Amazon link), and it is just as delightful as the first two in the series. This one is set during the holidays as the little town decorates for Christmas and Melinda readies her farm for winter.
What are your plans this week? Are you cooking winter comfort food?