Baked Acorn Squash Filled with Italian Sausage and Rigatoni Pasta
- 4 medium acorn squash, halved and cleaned
- Olive oil
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 pound Italian sausage, casing removed and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1 cup sliced red onion
- 4 cups basic tomato sauce, recipe follows
- 1/2 pound rigatoni pasta, cooked until tender, tossed in olive oil and cooled
- 1/2 pound mozzarella, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley leaves
- TOMATO SAUCE:
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 cup chopped onion
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped garlic
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
- 2 1/2 cups chopped, peeled tomatoes with juice
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
- 1/2 cup chicken stock
- Black pepper
- Pinch sugar
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Season the squash with olive oil, salt and pepper. Place on a baking sheet, flesh side up and add 1/2 cup water to the pan. Cover with alluminum foil and bake until tender, about 1 hour. Remove from the oven and cool completely.
In a large saute pan, over medium heat, brown the sausage and onions, about 6 to 8 minutes.
In a large mixing bowl, toss the sausage and onions with the tomato sauce, pasta, and cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Mix well.
Spoon the pasta mixture into the cavity of each squash. Place the filled squashes on a baking sheet and place in the oven. Bake until the squash is heated through and the cheese melts, about 20 minutes.
Place the filled squash in the center of each plate. Garnish with parsley and serve.TOMATO SAUCE:
Heat oil in a large skillet and saute onions, garlic, salt, and white pepper 3 minutes. Add tomatoes and basil; cook, stirring, 3 minutes. Stir in stock and 18 turns black pepper; simmer 2 minutes. Season with sugar if acidic and cook 1 minute.