Certain squash were made for the sole purpose of stuffing. I’m convinced of it. Once you scoop out the seeds you’re left with what looks like a bowl and bowls were made to be filled. Pasta is one of my favorite fillings for them.
The squash or squishes as we insist on calling them in my house, are roasted first, whole, so you don’t have to worry about trying to cut through their hard outer shell, and cooled while you work on the filling.
The bacon is baked as the tortellini boils and you simultaneously throw together a quick pan sauce by cooking garlic in a little butter, adding a spoon of flour for thickening and whole milk along with a pinch of nutmeg, Italian seasoning and finally, the fresh baby spinach.
Last but not least the cooked tortellini, Gouda and crumbled bacon go into the pot. This is where the fun part starts – the stuffing of the squishes. This makes enough filling for two small to medium sized acorn or kabocha squash.
They can be a complete meal or a side. We ate them with meatloaf for the ultimate comfort food pairing. They’d go well with chicken too.
I eat from the inside out, starting with a fork of the filling and a little bit of the squash so I can get all those wonderful flavors and textures in one bite.
I love the chewy tortellini with the soft squash, the subtle bite of the Gouda and the salty bacon bits.
|Bacon, Gouda & Tortellini Stuffed Squash|| |
- 2 medium acorn or kabocha squash
- 6 slices bacon
- 8 ounces frozen cheese tortellini
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 1 + ½ cups whole milk (sub in a little heavy cream or half & half to make it richer)
- ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning
- a pinch of nutmeg
- 3 cups fresh baby spinach
- salt and pepper
- 6 ounces Gouda cheese, cut into cubes
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Wash and dry the squash. Place them, whole, in a roasting pan and cook 40 - 50 minutes or until a fork can easily poke them.
- Remove from the oven and cool until easy enough to handle.
- Turn the oven down to 350 degrees F.
- Cook the bacon: Line a small roasting pan with foil and lay the bacon out in one layer.
- Bake until brown and crispy. Remove to a paper towel lined plate to drain. Rough chop it up once it's cool enough to handle. Turn the oven back up to 400 degrees F.
- Cook the tortellini according to package directions.
- Meanwhile make the sauce: In a medium saucepan melt the butter over medium-low heat and add the garlic. Cook 1 minute then stir in the flour and cook 1 - 2 minutes longer.
- Whisk in the milk, Italian seasoning and nutmeg. Turn the heat up and bring to a simmer stirring often.
- Once it starts to simmer add the spinach, ¾ of the bacon, ½ teaspoon salt and ⅛ teaspoon black pepper. Cook a few more minutes until the spinach wilts.
- Turn the heat off and stir in the drained tortellini and cubes of gouda.
- Cut the squashes in half lengthwise from root to stem and scoop out the seeds. Scoop out a few spoonfuls of squash from each half leaving about a one-inch border around the edge and not taking too much off the bottom. Mix into the tortellini.
- Place the squash halves in the roasting pan and fill with the tortellini mixture. Sprinkle the tops with bacon.
- Bake 20 minutes.