Perfect for this chilly season, rich sausage and sweet squash get just a hint of cacao flavor from the addition of Taza Roasted Cacao Nibs. This recipe is Paleo-friendly.
2 acorn squash, halved with seeds removed
2 tablespoons butter or ghee, divided
Salt and pepper to taste
12 ounces mild Italian sausage, crumbled
1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 sage leaves, finely chopped
10 ounces mushrooms, chopped
1/4 cup Taza Roasted Cacao Nibs
1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat to 375 degrees. Pierce the flesh of each squash all over with a fork, then season each squash half with salt. Place 1/2 tablespoon of butter or ghee in the center of the each squash half, then wrap in aluminum foil and place on a baking sheet. Bake for 40 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool until comfortable to handle.
2. In a sauté pan over medium-high heat, cook the sausage until browned and cooked through, then remove from pan. Add onions, garlic, and sage and cook until soft, about 4 minutes. Add mushrooms and season with salt. Cook until mushrooms have released their liquid and started to brown, about 10 minutes. Combine sausage and veggies in a bowl to cool.
3. Scoop some of the flesh out the acorn squash halves, leaving a 1/2 inch border of squash remaining in the skin. Mash squash with a fork, then fold into the sausage/veggie mixture along with cacao nibs. Season to taste with salt and pepper, then divide filling among the squash halves. At this point you can chill the stuffed squash overnight and bake the next day, or you can place them back in the oven immediately for 20 minutes or until the filling is warmed through. Serve warm.