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"Chopped" judge chef Marc Murphy loves stuffing so he used a sausage-and-sage combo to stuff acorn squash for this holiday side.
Try pairing this with Marc's easy 2-ingredient recipe for Pork Chops With Wilted Spinach.
- 2 medium acorn squash
- Olive oil
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground pepper
- 4 sweet Italian sausages, casings removed
- 6 small carrots, finely diced
- 4 stalks celery, finely diced
- 1 white onion, finely diced
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 10 sage leaves, chopped
- ½ cup crushed walnuts
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- Crushed red chili flakes, to taste
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 1 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese
Preheat oven to 350˚F.
Cut the acorn squash in half lengthwise, then remove and discard the seeds. Trim the backside so they stand up on a plate. Season with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Transfer to a foil-lined baking sheet and bake until soft, about 30 minutes.
In a large pan, cook the sausage over medium-high heat until fat has been rendered, then add the carrots, celery, onion and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are softened and translucent, then stir in the sage, walnuts, butter and chili flakes and cook until fragrant. Add the chicken stock and cook until reduced by about half. Let the sausage mixture cool, and once the mixture is at room temperature, stir in the cheese.
Once the squash is cool enough to handle, fill with the stuffing and return to the oven for about 15 minutes.