Sausage and Rice Stuffed Acorn Squash
- 2 acorn squash, halved and seeded
- 8 ounces merguez (spicy lamb) sausage, casings removed
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 red bell pepper, diced
- 3 tablespoons buttermilk or plain yogurt
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
- 1 egg
- 1 cup cooked rice
- 1 tablespoon plain breadcrumbs
- 1 tablespoon freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly oil a baking dish large enough to hold the 4 squash halves in one layer.
- Crumble sausage into a bowl. Add salt, cumin, black pepper, cinnamon, diced pepper, buttermilk or yogurt, chopped mint, and egg. Mix well, breaking mixture down to a paste-like consistency, 3 or 4 minutes. Mix in cooked rice.
- Divide mixture among the squash halves. Sprinkle stuffing with a pinch or 2 of breadcrumbs and some grated cheese. Drizzle lightly with olive oil.
- Cover dish loosely with aluminum foil, more tented than wrapped; foil shouldn't touch the tops of the stuffed squash.
- Bake in preheated oven for 1 hour. Remove foil and bake until top is golden brown and squash is soft and tender, 30 to 45 minutes.