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  • Prep
    25 min
  • Total
    70 min
  • Servings
    4

Orzo and Italian Sausage Stuffed Acorn Squash

Ingredients

For the squash

  • 2 acorn squashes (750 g to 1 kg / 1 1/2 to 2 lb. each), halved, seeds scooped out and discarded
  • 30 mL (2 tbsp) olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the orzo and Italian sausage stuffing

  • 125 ml (1/2 cup) orzo
  • 15 mL (1 tbsp) olive oil
  • 1 small onion, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 454 g (1 lb.) Italian sausage, casings removed
  • 250 mL (1 cup) chicken broth
  • 1/2 package (70 g) baby spinach, chopped
  • 60 mL (1/4 cup) fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • 125 mL (1/2 cup) Saputo shredded Mozzarellissima cheese
  • 60 mL (1/4 cup) Saputo very fine shredded Romano cheese
  • Toasted sliced almonds, for garnish

 

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Drizzle some of the olive oil on the flesh of the squash halves with and rub to coat the flesh evenly. Season with salt and pepper, then place face down on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 30 minutes, or until easily pierced with the tip of a knife.
  2. Meanwhile, cook the orzo according to the manufacturer’s instructions, removing 2 minutes from the recommended cooking time. Drain and set aside.
  3. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet set over medium heat. Add the onion and bell pepper and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Add the Italian sausage and sauté, mixing with a wooden spoon, until fully cooked, about 6 minutes. Add the chicken broth and reserved orzo and bring to a simmer. Cook for 3-4 minutes, or until the broth is almost fully absorbed. Add the baby spinach and basil and stir until wilted. Remove from the heat and let cool until the squash is done.
  4. Once the squash is tender, turn each half over so the hollow side faces up. Stir the shredded Saputo Mozzarellissima cheese and the Saputo very fine shredded Romano cheese into the orzo and Italian sausage mixture. Divide the stuffing between the squash halves. Bake for 15 minutes, or until the stuffing is heated through and browned in spots.
  5. Serve the squash sprinkled with toasted sliced almonds.