Mary Beth Clark

Culinary Educator · Consultant · Author

Pattypan Squash with Sausage, Pasta, and Mozzarella, Fresh Tomato Sauce

www.marybethclark.com

On Italian tables, the edible passage from summer to autumn includes all kinds of delectable stuffed vegetables. Summer's last soft squash is ideal for this easy technique whether it is green or yellow zucchini, pattypan squash, yellow squash, zephyr, eight ball zucchini, or licata. Prepare in advance and refrigerate until ready to bake. Pattypan Squash stuffed with Sausage, Pasta, and Mozzarella showcases the garden's best produce. It is also an ideal way to include those bits of pasta, salumi, hard cheese…any ingredient you know tastes good in stuffing with squash. Bake in the oven nestled in ripe tomatoes and fresh basil for a stunning meal-in-one.
 

4 servings. Baking time is about 35 minutes.

Pattypan Squash:
4 medium-large pattypan squash (Each squash is about 5-inches or 13-cm in diameter, and weighs about 8 ounces or 227 g)
Dried or fresh oregano to taste
Ground red cayenne pepper to taste
No salt or draws out juice from squash
Sunflower oil

Filling: 2 cups (473 ml volume) cooked filling, equally divided among 4 pattypan squash
Sunflower oil
1/4 small white onion, peeled, finely chopped
8 ounces (227 g) fresh pork, lamb, chicken, or turkey sausage, casing removed, crumbled
Garlic, finely chopped or grated, to taste
1/2 cup (118 ml volume) boiled gnocchetti sardo or other small-shaped pasta
1/2 cup (118 ml volume) chopped ripe tomatoes
1/4 cup (1 ounce or 28 g) grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, Pecorino, or other aged hard cheese
Fresh basil leaves
Salt to taste

Sauce:
Chopped tomatoes, use about 1 pound (454 g) fresh or 1 cup (237 ml volume) chopped tomatoes
Garlic clove, peeled, finely chopped
Cherry tomatoes, use about 8 ounces (227 g) or 24 medium-size
Ground red cayenne pepper to taste
Fresh basil leaves
Salt to taste

Topping:
2 ounces (57 g) shredded low-moisture mozzarella

Ovenproof Baking Dish:
Sunflower oil
Loose foil cover for 20 minutes

Garnish:
Fresh basil leaves
 

Preparation of Squash: Lengthwise, cut off the top 1/4 of each pattypan squash, and reserve for another use. Hollow-out half of the depth of each squash using a small spoon and reserve that part of the squash for another use. Season the interior with oregano and ground pepper. Do not salt. Lightly rub oil over the outside of each squash to prevent drying out during baking.

Preparation of Filling: Pour a small amount of oil into a pan. Over low heat, saute the onion for a few minutes or until softened but not browned, add the crumbled sausage and garlic to taste and saute until just cooked through. Remove from the heat, drain off rendered fat, cool down. Mix together the filling ingredients. Divide into 4 equal portions, then mound the filling into the hollowed part of each pattypan squash.

If prepared in advance and refrigerated, remove the stuffed squash 30 minutes before baking so it is not cold when putting into the oven.

Baking: Preheat the oven to 375 F/190 C/ Gas Mark 5. In a large ovenproof baking dish, rub oil inside to prevent burning and sticking. Add the chopped tomatoes with their juice, garlic, and season to taste spreading in one layer. Nestle the squash in the tomatoes with the filling on top. Loosely cover the dish with foil.

Place in the center of the oven and bake for 20 minutes. After this time, check to confirm the tomato sauce is moist. If it looks dry, pour in 2 or 3 spoonfuls of water over the tomatoes. Distribute the cherry tomatoes and basil leaves in the bottom. Continue baking for 10 minutes without foil, or until cooked through and hot to the touch. Remove from the oven. Sprinkle the cheese over the top of each stuffed squash. Place back in the center of the oven and cook for 3 to 5 minutes or until the cheese melts.

Plating: Spoon some sauce into each bowl or plate. Center the Italian pattypan squash, garnish with fresh basil leaves. Enjoy.