Italian sausage and sage stuffed butternut squash

You never sausage a stuffed squash! Get it! sausage… saw such…

Oh, wow, where did everybody go? My readership just dropped.

Note to self: Terrible puns are just that: terrible.

Second note to self: Unlike stuffing a post with bad puns, stuffing a butternut squash with Italian sausage that was cooked in a handful of fresh sage leave is an excellent idea. Really excellent.

another one: When a clock is hungry it goes back four seconds.

I saw you smirk at that pun. You can't hide it. You secretly like bad puns. It's like an addiction. Go ahead, hover your mouse over the photo...

This kind of recipe appeals to me because I can both be lazy and impressive. Stuffing anything with anything automatically increases its allure. You can even make it sound exotic if you use the French term “farci”. Like this: Butternut squash farci avec a saged Italian sausage and caramelized onions. It just sounds like it must be good! Besides, caramelized anything must be a good. And verbing nouns, like making sage “saged” (or even the noun “verb” to “verbing”), make it sound much more complicated than simply adding sage to the dish.

One leftover said to another "foiled again".

We couldn't eat all of these in one go, so I covered one in foil and put in the fridge with some other leftovers. I think they got to talking in the fridge. Talking about puns... (hover the mouse over the image)

If the new title we developed didn’t convince you about how excellent and impressive this is, let’s go ahead and remove all doubt. Quite simply, Italian sausage and sage are excellent together. Go ahead and add caramelized onion and you have just added a touch of earthy sweetness with minimal effort. Toss in some chopped carrots to add some colorful contrast and some flavor and you are almost there. Actually, you are there. All you need to do now is pile that into cooked squash and serve it!

Butternut squash farci avec a saged Italian sausage and caramelized onions
Serves 4
Ingredients
2 medium butternut squashes
1 lb mild Italian sausage, casings removed
1 onion, chopped
3 carrots, chopped (should have just about the same or slightly less carrot than onion)
1 cup rice (I use basmati)
handfull of fresh sage leaves (I had about 15 large leaves)
salt, pepper
olive oil

Directions
Prep the squash
1. Preheat the oven to 400F.
2. Cut the butternut squash in half lengthwise, discard the seeds and scrape out any stringy bits.
3. Drizzle lightly with olive oil and put a sage leaf in the hole. Wrap the cut-side with foil with foil and place cut-side down (foil-side down) on a baking sheet. Bake for 50-60 minutes, until the squash is tender. A fork or knife inserted into the flesh should go easily into it.
Prep the filling
The filling can be made a day ahead, or while the squash is cooking. If made a day ahead, reheat over medium to medium-low heat in a pot, stirring occasionally until warm.
1. Prepare 1 cup of dry rice according to package directions.
2. Meanwhile, in a large pot over medium heat add 2 tsps olive oil. Then add the onion. Stir and cook for about 10 minutes. Stir occasionally.
3. Add the carrots. Cook for 10 minutes more. Stir occasionally.
4. Add the sausage and sage. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Increase the heat to medium-high and cook, breaking apart any chunks of sausage with a wooden spoon. Cook for 10-15 minutes, until the meat is cooked, stirring occasionally.
5. Add the cooked rice to the sausage mixture and stir to combine everything.
Stuff it!
1. Once the squash is cooked, remove the foil and… um.. stuff it. I’m not sure much explanation needs to occur, but here goes… Scoop the rice and sausage mixture into the holes of each squash.
2. Uh… eat… I guess. I didn’t really plan on needing a number 2, but I didn’t want 1 to get lonely.

The smartest nut mixtures have some macadamia. (but seriously, some nuts could have been tasty here.)

I considered putting some almond slivers or some pistachios in the mix as well. While I still think it was a good idea, I don't think it would have been smart to use just those because... (hover over the photo for the punchline)

You may have left over stuffing ingredients. These are quite good on their own. I ate my leftover extra stuffing as a lunch the next day at work. It was a bit easier than trying to take a half squash :)

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