Sausage-stuffed mini pumpkins

Sausage-stuffed mini pumpkins
 

Not only do these beauties look amazing (mini-pumpkins, come on!), they taste great and are a perfect way to use all of the amazing squash around at this time of year. You could easily make this vegetarian but we say embrace the comfort food and stuff it with sausage meat. The crispy seeds give an amazing crunch – also great on top of risotto!

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INGREDIENTS

  • 4 x medium squash / mini pumpkins
  • 1 pack high quality British pork sausages
  • 1 onion
  • 2 sticks celery
  • I x apple
  • 200ml double cream
  • 4 x tsp wholegrain mustard
  • 100g blue cheese
  • 100g oats
  • Small handful sage
  • Sprig thyme
  • Salt and pepper
  • 50g butter 

METHOD

  1. Prep the squash, slice the top off the pumpkins (be careful here, the skin can be Ross Kemp on gangs tough). Scoop out the seeds (save them) and scrape a little of the flesh away so you have a nice hollow in which you can add the stuffing.
  2. To make the stuffing finely dice the onion and celery and fry off in a little oil until soft and translucent, about 10 minutes. Squeeze the sausage meat out of the skins into the pan and break up with a spoon to ensure even cooking. Allow to brown.
  3. Grate in the apple and add the mustard, double cream, oats and blue cheese. Cook until it all melts together and the oats begin to soften. Finally, add the finely chopped herbs and season.
  4. Spoon the mixture into the pumpkins and top with a knob of butter, bake in a pre-heated oven at 180C for 30-35 minutes or until the pumpkins are soft to the touch. Put the lids back onto the pumpkins for the last 10 minutes.
  5. To make the crispy seeds wash away the flesh and dry the seeds. Add to a hot pan with a little oil and a pinch of salt and cook on a high heat until they begin to crackle and pop. At the last minute add in a few whole sage leaves until they go crispy.
  6. To serve, remove the lid from the pumpkin and sprinkle on the seeds and crispy sage leaves. Place the lid back on and serve with a salad of bitter leaves.
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