2 large acorn squash, halved and seeded

6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more for serving

kosher salt and freshy ground black pepper

4 links hot Italian sausage, casings removed 

½ yellow onion, diced

3 ribs celery, finely diced

1 Granny Smith apple, peeled and cut into ½ inch pieces

3 tablespoons chopped fresh sage

4 cloves garlic, minced

½ cup chicken broth

1 cup panko bread crumbs

1/2 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano, plus more for serving


1.   Preheat oven to 375*.  Lightly coat a large baking sheet with cooking spray.  (For easier clean up, line the sheet with foil before spraying. Or, better still, use non-stick aluminum foil.) Keep the oven on.

2.  Cut the squash in half horizontally (a long, serrated knife makes this easier).  Scoop out and discard seeds.  Place squash cut side down on the prepared baking sheet and bake until tender, about 45 minutes.

3.  While squash are roasting, heat the remaining olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  When the oil is shimmering, add the sausage and cook, stirring frequently and breaking up any large pieces with a wooden spoon, until cooked through, 6 to 8 minutes.  Add the onion and celery and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.  Add the apples, sage and garlic and cook until aromatic, about 1 minute.  Stir in the chicken broth and bring to a simmer, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan.

4.  When the squash are cool enough to handle, scoop the flesh into a large bowl, leaving ½ inch of flesh attached to the skin to help retain each squash’s shape.  Add the sausage mixture and stir to incorporate the squash.  Season to taste with salt and black pepper.

5.  Stuff the sausage mixture into the hollowed squash halves and return to the baking sheet.  Top with the bread crumbs and the Parmigiano Reggiano.  Drizzle with a little more olive oil and roast until lightly browned, about 15 minutes.  Sprinkle with additional Parmigiano Reggiano and drizzle with additional extra virgin olive oil, as desired.  Serve.

adapted from

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