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Acorn Squash with Orzo, Sausage and Peppers

Acorn Squash with Orzo, Sausage and Peppers


There isn't much to say about this dish, except that it's really good! Acorn squash, roasted with shallots, aromatic spices, butter and maple syrup -- and then stuffed with orzo simmered in chicken broth and laced with sausage, roasted peppers, brocolli rabe and cheese. This is comfort food in spades!

Acorn Squash with Orzo, Sausage and Peppers

Serves 4.

2 medium acorn squash
1 T allspice
1 tsp nutmeg
2 shallots, peeled, sliced thin
8 T butter
6 T maple syrup
1 T salt
1 T hot sauce
1/2 lb orzo
1/2 lb sweet Italian sausage
1 onion, sliced vertically into thin crecsents
1 roasted red pepper (recipe follows)
1 C brocolli rabe, cooked
2 cloves garlic, sliced
1 C low sodium chicken broth
1/2 tsp lemon zest
pinch thyme
2 oz Parmigiano Reggiano, shredded
1 oz Asiago cheese, shredded
2 T butter

Wash and then cut the squash in half, crosswise. Remove and discard seeds and pulp. Rub cut surface and squash skin with olive oil. Place in oiled fireproof dish, cut sides up. Place 1/4 of the shallots in the well of each squash and divide the butter, nutmeg, allspice, salt, hot sauce and maple syrup between the four squash halves. Cover the squash with aluminum foil and roast in a preheated 400º oven about an hour, removing the foil for the last 15 minutes. Baste the cut surface of the squash with liquid from the well of the sqush after removing the foil. Squash should be fork tender and slightly browned on top when done.

Meanwhile, cook the orzo al dente in boiling salted water, about 5 - 6 minutes. Drain and spray with cold water to stop cooking.

Sauté the sausage slowly  until cooked. Remove to a side plate. Pour all but 2 tablespoons of fat from the sausage pan and then sauté the onions slowly in the remaining fat until lightly browned and translucent. Remove from heat and stir in the brocolli rabe, peppers, cheese and butter. Slice the sausage into disks and add to the vegetables.

Combine orzo, chicken stock, zest and thyme in a saucepan and simmer, stirring, until liquid is absorbed, about 15 minutes.

Return the pan with the sausage, onions, rabe, peppers and cheese to the stove, over high heat. Stir in the orzo and cook for 2 or 3 minutes, stirring, to warm through. Correct seasoning.

To serve, spoon the orzo mixture into the hot acorn squash halves.

Roasted Red Pepper

1 red pepper
2 tsp balsamic vinegar

Roast the pepper on a grill until charred on the exterior surfaces. Place in an air-tight container until cool. Being careful to capture the juices, remove and discard the charred skin, internal membranes and seeds. Marinate the pepper in a mixture of its juices and the balsamic vinegar overnight.


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What a great way to serve the orzo. It's just so artistic!

Hi, Stephen, your dish looks great.

I have a thing I do with orzo that is so good. Red onions sautéed in a little olive oil (sometimes lime olive oil), with jalapeño pesto (pesto with cilantro instead of basil, no parm, with jalapeño slices and a little of the brine), smoked chicken breast, toasted pine nuts, and the orzo. It's delicious.

(Note: I invented jalapeño pesto for myself in a dream. Literally. I woke up the next day and started a catering business. Heh.)

If I ever see acorn squash, now I'll know what to do with it. Delicious-sounding recipe!


I had chicken, orzo stuffed acorn squash in a restaurant just last week ... now I have the recipe to make it thanks.

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