Halloween is one of my favorite times of the year. While my kids were growing up I loved planning their costumes. I usually made their costumes or we went thrift store shopping to put something together.
Then as they got older it gave me an excuse to be a big kid myself. We would decorate the house with all sorts of scary things. Skeletons, zombies, tombstones, bats and spiders. We had a smoke machine and the scary sounds playing when the neighborhood kids would come to trick or treat. We would dress in costume and loved seeing if we could scare them.
Oh, don't worry, we didn't scare the little ones.
But from Jr High up they were fair game!
When I saw we were doing a Halloween themed Sunday Supper. I had to think really hard. My first reaction was to do something really creepy or gross. Last year I made Goblin Eggs (think moldy looking green deviled eggs...YUM!!). I also came up with the Vampire Kiss Martini.
I decided to go back, waaaaaaay back, to the beginning, when Halloween was about watching all of the cute Halloween shows with my kids, carving pumpkins, and trick or treating. It wasn't spooky ghouly in those days. It was just tons of family fun, and "It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown" was one of our favorite shows! It just didn't feel like Halloween until we watched it together.
So it just seemed natural to come up with something that would bring those memories to a dish. I have been wanting to bake squash and this just seemed like the perfect opportunity to do it. I did some searching on the internet for stuffed pumpkin recipes. Who knew there would be so many??
I ended up choosing a recipe by Dorie Greenspan. She explains that this was a recipe given to her by a friend and that it is ever changing and evolving. I loved the "bones" of the recipe, and knew where I wanted to change it just a tad to suit our tastes and needs.
I had no doubt that it would be good. With 96% of 125 reviews saying they would make it again, I figured I was pretty safe.
Kevin and I, however, were NOT prepared for exactly how good this dish would be!
Like blow your mind good!
The combination of the sweet herbed sausage and the salty tang of the cheese with the slight sweetness of the pumpkin meat? Ahhhh-mazing!!
I can't wait to make it again. It is perfect for a holiday meal, and has that serious WOW factor!
Sausage Stuffed Pumpkin
- 1 pumpkin, about 3 pounds
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1/2 pound Italian Sausage
- 1 envelope (6 ounces) stuffing (I used Mrs Cubbison's)
- 4 ounces Gruyère cheese, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
- 1 cup Parmesan cheese plus more for sprinkling on top
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup fresh chives, chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped
- 1/3 cup heavy cream
- Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
- With the rack in the center of the oven, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Brown the sausage in a skillet breaking into bits with a wooden spoon.
- Cut a cap out of the top of the pumpkin at a 45 degree angle. You want to cut off enough of the top to make it easy for you to work inside the pumpkin. The same as you would for a jack-o-lantern. Remove the seeds and strings from the cap and inside the pumpkin. Generously salt and pepper the inside of the pumpkin, and put it in a cast iron skillet or in a pot.
- Toss the bread, cheese, garlic, sausage, and herbs together in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper—you probably won't need much salt because of the cheeses, but taste to be sure. Spoon the mix into the pumpkin, pack it down a bit. The pumpkin should be well filled. Stir the cream with the nutmeg and some salt and pepper and pour it into the pumpkin.
- Put the cap in place and bake the pumpkin for about 90 minutes, the flesh of the pumpkin should be tender enough to be pierced easily with the tip of a knife. Remove the cap and sprinkle with a bit of Parmesan cheese. Cook an additional 20 to 30 minutes, so that the liquid can bake away and the top of the stuffing can brown a little.
Prep Time: 00 hrs. 15 mins.
Total time: 2 hrs. 25 mins.
Tags: beef, chive, garlic, Gruyere cheese, heavy cream, Holiday Dishes, Italian sausage, Main Dishes, Parmesan cheese, pumpkin, thyme, Halloween, Thanksgiving,
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