- 2 medium butternut squash, split lengthwise and deseeded
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 pound hot Italian sausage
- 2 cups cooked brown rice
- 2 cups yellow onion, diced
- ½ head cabbage, shredded as for slaw
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 2/3 cup Parmesan cheese, grated on microplane
- 1 cup shredded fontina or mozzarella cheese
- 1 teaspoon butter
- For the squash, heat oven to 350 degrees. Rub the split side with maple syrup, salt and oil. Place the squash, split side up, on a cookie sheet and bake for 45 minutes or until they are cooked through and tender when pierced with a knife. Some caramelization is OK. Allow to cool, and then remove skin. Do not puree the flesh.
- For the filling, in a large saute pan, brown the sausage, making sure to crumble it into small bits.
- Remove the sausage and drain, pouring off all but 2 tablespoons of the fat.
- Add onions and a pinch of salt to the same pan. Allow them to sweat for about 10 minutes or until they are translucent and have given up some liquid. Add cabbage to the same pan. Hit with a little salt and black pepper. Allow to caramelize or brown a little and wilt down.
- In a large bowl, combine the butternut flesh, rice, sausage, onion/cabbage mix and the Parmesan cheese. Mix thoroughly, making sure the butternut flesh breaks up into medium chunks.
- Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9-by-12-inch baking dish with butter.
- Spoon the filling into the dish and top with shredded fontina or mozzarella. Bake for about 40 minutes, or until the top is brown and bubbly.
Tips & Notes
Serve this hearty casserole alongside a green salad, chicken or pork chops.