Stuffed Squash with Italian Sausage and Fennel

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Ingredients (quantities listed are for 6-8 small-medium assorted squashes. You can increase or decrease the quantities depending on how many squashes you will be stuffing):

  • 6-8 assorted squash, cut in half and seeds scooped out (or for patty pan squash, remove a slice off the top and scoop out the seeds)
  • 1 lb. sweet Italian sausage (bulk, or with casings removed)
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa (or other grain of choice)
  • 1 bunch parsley (basil would also work here, as would smaller quantities of oregano or sage)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 small onions, chopped
  • 2 small bulbs fennel, chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • shredded pecorino cheese, optional but strongly suggested!

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

2. In a large skillet, saute onions and fennel in olive oil over medium heat until tender. Add garlic and cook about 30 seconds until fragrant.

3. In a separate skillet, cook the Italian sausage until done. Drain the excess fat and discard.

4. In a large mixing bowl, combine the cooked quinoa, sausage, sauteed vegetables, parsley, and salt and pepper to taste.

5. Stuff the squash with the filling, and arrange them on a baking sheet. Cover if desired (this will yield a moister result). Bake until the squash is tender.

6. Serve with shredded pecorino cheese on top if desired.