From The Joy of Cooking

2 Butternut squash (about 1 pound each)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 cup well-seasoned fresh bulk sausage (about 8 ounce)
1 large tart green apple, peeled, cored, and cut into ¼-inch cubes
2 tablespoons butter, softened
1 tablespoon dark brown sugar, packed
¼ teaspoon ground sage
salt and black pepper to taste
1 tablespoon butter, cut into pieces
1 tablespoon packed dark brown sugar

Position a rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 375°F.

Lightly oil a baking dish large enough to hold the squash. Halve lengthwise and remove the seeds from squash. Arrange the squash cut side up in the baking dish and brush lightly with vegetable oil.

Cover with a lid or aluminum foil and bake until almost tender, 30 to 40 minutes. Keep the oven on.

Meanwhile, crumble sausage into a skillet and cook over medium heat until no longer pink. Without draining off the fat, add apple. Cook, stirring, for several minutes, just until crisp-tender. Remove from the heat.

When the squash is cooked, let it cool slightly, scoop out most of the flesh leaving a 3/8-inch thick shell. Lightly mix the squash pulp into the sausage mixture, breaking up the squash as little as possible. Mix in the softened butter, 1 Tbsp. brown sugar, ground sage, and salt and pepper to taste.

Pile the stuffing into the squash halves. Dot with remaining butter and brown sugar. Bake, uncovered, until piping hot and brown and crusty on top, 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool for several minutes before serving.

Yield: 4 servings

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