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Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Stuffed Rondo (de Nice) Squash

Truth be told, this was my first time stuffing a squash.  I've never been that into squash, so I typically fry them up as fritters (because anything is better fried) or I mix it into a pesto where my unsuspecting daughter used to (note the words "used to" there) eat it up blissfully unaware.  Yet when I got my hands on these softball shaped globes in this week's CSA, I felt like I had no choice but to stuff away.  So stuff away I did.  Again, I am not the biggest fan of squash in general, but the stuffing in here was pretty tasty.  The recipe I used called for parsley alone, but I also had sage on hand from the CSA, so I threw that in there as well.  I kicked myself for not remembering to throw in a hot pepper that I was also provided - I bet that would have made this so so much better.  Next time I am given squash to stuff, I will add some hot pepper because the stuffing could have definitely used some spice...and maybe a bit of parmesan cheese.  I think those two things would have made this dish better.  (I will update the recipe if and when I try that out.)  Other than that, this was a fine dish, but I'm posting to also share in what I felt was a pretty unique squash that I had never heard of before.  I have never seen this at the grocery store among the typical butternuts, acorns, winters, and summers.  Apparently, from what I could find out about it, supermarkets prefer not to sell them because their flesh bruise easily.  I can believe it, but who really knows.

Stuffed Rondo Squash
adapted slightly from Smitten Kitchen

serves 2

2 rondo squash
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 yellow onion, minced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 Italian chicken sausage link (about 1/3 of a lb), removed from casing
1 Tbsp tomato paste
1 Tbsp finely chopped fresh parsley
1/2 Tbsp finely chopped fresh sage
1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.  Cut the tops off the squash about 2 inches away from the stems.  If the squash are very round and won't stay upright, you can cut a little off of the bottoms to make them flat and stable.  Scoop out their inner flesh, leaving about a 1/4 inch wall.  Finely chop the scooped out  insides and reserve for later.  In a large saute pan, add the olive oil and set over low heat.  Add the onion and garlic, season with a little salt, and cook until the onion is soft.  Raise the heat to medium and add the sausage.  Break it up as it cooks.  When the sausage is cooked, add the insides, some more salt, and cook, stirring occasionally,  until tender, about 5 minutes.  Then add the tomato paste and incorporate fully.  Remove from heat.  If there is any liquid left over (there was none in my mixture), transfer the mixture to a bowl with a slotted spoon so the extra liquid is left behind.  Then add the herbs, bread crumbs, pepper, and any more salt (if needed.)  Scoop this mixture into the hollowed out squash.  Place a bit of oil on the bottom of your baking dish and fit the squash snugly inside.  Cover and bake for 45 minutes.  They are done cooking when a knife inserts easily into the outer flesh.  If they are not yet done, raise the oven temperature up to 325 and cook for another 10 minutes.



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