Baked Acorn Squash Filled with Italian Sausage and Rigatoni Pasta

Total Time:
2 hr
Prep:
10 min
Cook:
1 hr 50 min

Yield:
4 to 8 servings

Ingredients
  • 4 medium acorn squash, halved and cleaned
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • 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
Directions
  • 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.


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