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Acorn squash stuffed with pancetta, quinoa and walnuts

Acorn squash stuffed with pancetta, quinoa and walnuts

Ingredients

4 small acorn squash
½ cup pancetta, diced
1 medium shallot, finely minced
12 sage leaves, finely minced
cups quinoa, precooked
1 cup walnuts, toasted and broken into small pieces
kosher salt, to taste
black pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon olive oil

Directions

Cut a very small portion off of the bottom of the squash, so that they can stand up in a baking pan. Then cut off about 1/4" off of the top, keeping a little hat. Scoop out of the seeds and a slight portion of the flesh. Preheat the oven to 400. Place the squash in a baking dish. Cook the quinoa according to the directions on the package. Once cooked set aside. While the quinoa is cooking toast the walnuts. Scatter the walnuts over a cookie sheet. Slide into the oven and cook for 5 minutes. Stir and then cook for another 3 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool. Once cooled, place a clean dish towel over the nuts and lightly crush with a rolling pin. In a large frying pan over medium heat cook the pancetta until lightly browned. Add the shallot and sage leaves. Stir and cook for 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the quinoa and toasted walnuts. Season with the salt and pepper. Lightly stuff the acorn squash with the pancetta/quinoa mixture. Using a pastry brush lightly coat the outside of the acorn squash. Fill the baking dish with about 1/4" inch of water. Slide into the oven. Bake for 45 - 60 minutes. You want the squash to be slightly soft and cooked through, as well as a little golden on the tops. Remove from the oven and let set for 5 minutes. Serve. Eat.

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