I love stuffed squash, there is something so comforting about it, especially when it is hot out of the oven. Its a healthy alternative to eating a ragu with pasta, because the squash contain less carbs than pasta. This stuffed squash with a parmesan topping is perfect for a dinner party, or a lovely dinner, or winter comfort meal.
I find the recipe quite versatile; you can make the ragu with meat, soya mince or just with vegetables, and you can choose any squash.
Many of the foods that I cook with have added health benefits. The benefit to you is enhanced recovery, boosted immunity and extra energy. What is not to like about that?! Here are a couple of snippets of information about some ingredients. If you’re not interested, scroll down for the recipe. Otherwise, I hope you enjoy the extra insight.
250-300g mince - I like turkey or soya (if using soya, this needs soaking in stock for an hour before)
1 medium onion, chopped finely
2 cloves of garlic, chopped finely
1 tbs of pesto or sun dried tomato tapenade (recipe here)
3/4 mushrooms (optional)
Tin of chopped tomatoes
1 slice of wholemeal bread (or ground almonds if GF)
Salt & pepper
Olive oil for cooking
Heat the oven to 200. Cut the squash in half lengthways and season with salt and pepper and a touch of olive oil and place in the oven while you make the ragu;
Heat the olive oil in a pan on a medium heat. When hot, add the onions and cook for a few minutes until translucent;
Add the garlic and mushrooms and cook for a minute;
Add the mince, seasoning, herbs and pesto and stir thoroughly for a few minutes;
Add the tomatoes and cook until on a low heat until the sauce has reduced (about ten minutes);
Whilst the sauce is reducing, remove the squash from the oven and carefully remove the seeds and ensure there is enough space for the ragu - if using butternut squash, you may need to remove some squash;
Add the reduced ragu to the squash, until it is full and return to the oven for 20 minutes;
Whilst the squash is cooking, you can make the parmesan crumb. In a blender add roughly broken up chunks of parmesan and a torn slice of bread. Blend until you see a fine crumb;
Take the squash out of the oven and place a fork in the flesh to see if it is cooked - it should be soft and nearly cooked (if not, give it another ten minutes). Add the crumb to the top of the squash and cover it, patting it down. Return to the oven for 10-15 minutes until the crumb is golden.