Fall is the pumpkin season!!! 🎃 Actually, I don’t like pumpkin – apart from Pumpkin-Coconut-Soup – but the local butternut squash (calabaza moscada) winked at me in the store for weeks. Finally, I carved (pun intended!) and I have to admit that I loved this recipe against all prejudices. I can’t even describe the taste of a butternut squash, but I guess that the buttery and nutty note are namegiving. ;) Go get your pumpkin and let’s have a fall dish that isn’t a stew or soup!
1 butternut squash (if not available try a Hokkaido)
250 gr ground beef or eggplant / zuccini / tofu if you prefer it vegetarian
1 garlic toe
1 package grated cheese
1 cup tomato passata / sauce
First give your pumpkin a good wash and remove the stalk – I couldn’t do it with a knife so I simply broke it off. Cut squash in half, take out seeds and carve it out (keep the flesh!). I found this to be hard, but if you made it this far the rest is going to be a piece of cake, promise!
Fry ground beef or vegetables and add diced onion, garlic and pumpkin flesh when it starts to get brown. Fry well and when the onions turn translucent stir in tomato passata. Season with salt, pepper and herbs.
To keep the edge of squash from drying out brush it lightly with oil. Place the pumpkin halves in an oiled oven-proof pan or on a baking sheet and stuff it with the filling. Cover well with cheese. Bake for about 45 minutes at 350°F.
Serve either cut into pieces or whole halves, according to pumpkin size and appetite.
You can vary the filling, of course, and often you’ll find that you have more than fits into the squash. I simply froze the excessive filling and even a whole half. If you have several guests just make more filling and serve it next to the stuffed butternut squash.