From Arugula to Ziti: Stuffed Pattypan Squash

It was only recently that I began eating gourds. With the exception of cucumbers, pumpkin pie and any squash that my mother managed to sneak into my diet, I avoided them like the plague. Their hard, strange-tasting outsides and gross, slimy insides are nothing that I would choose to eat on my own.

Like so many other things I would not approach until adulthood (escarole, cauliflower, lentils), it turns out that I love all members of the gourd family. And the gateway? Pattypan squash. I’ll admit that I’m an impulsive food buyer. If something looks fun or is eye-catching in the grocery store (hello, graffiti eggplant!), it is the first thing to hit my basket. This compulsion of mine has been an amazing catapult to try new things. Pattypan squash, incidentally, has an adorable shape and, it turns out, a great flavor.

Stuffed fruits and vegetables, such as squash or tomatoes, are perfect for nights in for two, or for nights when we have company. I almost always use some variation of sausage, onion, herbs and rice or breadcrumbs as a stuffing, and the results are always delicious.

Stuffed Pattypan Squash

4 medium to large pattypan squash
3 uncooked Italian sausages
1/2 red onion
2 cloves garlic
2 Roma tomatoes
1/2 cup cilantro
5 tablespoons butter, divided
1/2 cup cooked rice
1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled
Salt and pepper to taste

Place squash on a cutting board, flat side down. Cut a circle around the top of the squash and remove that portion. Use a spoon to scrape out the insides, being careful not to break the skin. Set the squash aside.

Over medium heat, cook the sausage. When the sausage is halfway cooked (4 to 5 minutes), remove it from the skillet and dice it. Return sausage to the pan and continue cooking for another 4 to 5 minutes. Set aside.

Chop the squash flesh, onion, garlic, tomatoes and cilantro. Add 1 tablespoon butter to the pan you cooked the sausage in. Over medium heat, saute the squash flesh, onion, garlic and tomatoes for 2 minutes. Remove from pan and mix with the sausage. Add the cilantro, rice and feta.

Place mixture in a greased baking dish. Cube remaining butter and put 4 little pieces in the bottom of each squash. Spoon in the filling, then drizzle with olive oil.

Cook at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 45 minutes to an hour. Serves 4.

Have you ever tried pattypan squash? Chime in below!

Like This? Read These:
Summer Squash Recipes
5 Ways with Zucchini
Fall Harvest Recipes

Or, try these 30 incredible pumpkin recipes!

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