Spinach Stuffed Acorn Squash

I admit that I was getting really tired of our usual roasted acorn squash with brown sugar, butter, and cinnamon.  So I was pleased when I saw a Mario Batali recipe for stuffed acorn squash.  I decided to give it a shot, but I changed it up significantly based on what I had available.  What follows is the recipe I used after all my changes.  Served along side orzo mixed with pesto, this made a great vegetarian dinner.  You could probably bake the squash in advance if you were in a time crunch at dinner.  Serve hot or room temp.

3 acorn squash, quartered and seeded

Salt and pepper

Olive oil

1 bunch chopped scallions (whole onion)

4 cloves minced garlic

3-4 c fresh spinach leaves

2 T tomato paste

1 c ricotta cheese

1 c Italian breadcrumbs

1/2 c Parmesan cheese

Trim a flat spot on the bottom of the squash quarters so they will sit flat.  Arrange them inside a 9×13 baking pan and season with salt, pepper, and a drizzle of olive oil.  Bake at 425 for about 45 minutes, or until tender.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet or Dutch oven, heat a heavy drizzle of olive oil over medium-high heat.  Add scallions and garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.  Add spinach and cook until wilted – 2-3 minutes.  Stir in the tomato paste and cook another minute or two.  I deglazed the pan with a little water.

Combine the parmesan cheese and breadcrumbs in a small bowl.

Fill squash with scoops of the spinach mixture.  Top each squash quarter with about a tablespoon of ricotta.  Sprinkle the top with the breadcrumbs.  Slide the squash under a broiler until the tops start to brown, 1-2 minutes.

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