Farro & Sausage Stuffed Acorn Squash

Not that I’m complaining, but it seems that the world is skipping over Thanksgiving and going straight to Christmas these days. I’m guilty of it too and have found myself convincing my husband to start decking the halls with me in our home. Thankfully, he’s just as crazy about this time of year and we decorated this weekend. Our house is now filled with piney scents and deep reds and greens – I love it.

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But before I get full into the Christmas spirit, I do need to give a shout out to all the Thanksgiving food. I can’t wait to stuff my face this year, and I’m looking forward to munching on my mom’s stuffing the most (it’s my favorite turkey day dish). I’m thinking I might have to sneak my maternity jeans in my diaper bag because we’ll be making it to both sides of the family the day of, which means two carb-filled tryptophantastic meals. Woooo!

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A few weeks ago, I got into the fall/Thanksgiving spirit and decided to buy a couple of varieties of squash, one of them being acorn squash. I decided to stuff the squash with some savory foods because I find squash to be a little too sweet on its own.  I stuffed it with Italian sausage and mushrooms to add a salty flavor, farro and walnuts to give the squash some texture, and cranberries to enhance the sweetness from the squash. There’s a lot going on, but the flavors marry so so well. Oh, and it’s topped with fontina, creating the perfect blanket of cheese for these babies.

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If you end up making this stuffed squash, don’t forget to tag your photos with #marinamakeseats!

Farro & Sausage Stuffed Acorn Squash

Serves 2

Ingredients

  • 1 large acorn squash, halved through the stem to the base
  • 1/2 pound of ground mild or hot Italian sausage
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1/2 cup of dried farro (use rice as a substitute)
  • 1 cup of chicken broth
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 4 oz of mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup of grated parmigiano reggiano (use parmesan cheese as a substitute)
  • 2 tablespoons of fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1/2 cup of cranberries
  • 1/2 cup of walnuts
  • 1 cup of fontina cheese, shredded

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Place the acorn squash on a baking sheet, flesh side up, seasoning with olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast the squash for about 40 minutes until tender. Allow the squash to cool slightly and scoop most of the flesh out (leaving a little to help the squash keep its shape) into a large bowl. Lower the oven to 350 degrees.

Next, heat a frying pan over medium-high heat and cook the sausage until browned, about seven to nine minutes. Set aside when done.

Add the chicken broth and farro to a sauce pan and bring it to a boil. Once the broth is boiling, lower to a simmer and cook for 20-25 minutes (or according to package).

Heat three tablespoons olive oil and garlic in a separate frying pan over medium-high heat until the garlic is fragrant, about one minute. Add the mushrooms to the pan, spreading them out to make sure there’s no overlap. Sauté on one side for two to three minutes and then flip each mushroom, cooking for an additional minute. Season mushrooms with salt and pepper and stir to combine. Set aside when done.

Place sausage, farro, mushrooms, parmigiano reggiano, thyme, walnuts and cranberries in the bowl with the cooked squash and stir to combine. Place the mixture into the hollow acorn squash halves and top with fontina cheese. Bake for 15-20 minutes.

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