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Roasted Pumpkin With Apple, Cranberry, Sausage and Goat Cheese, Cider Reduction

It seemed every year at my house growing up as a kid that my dad couldn’t wait for fall to come around so he could eat squash. This dish gets its roots from my father’s love of squash/pumpkin. He was a diesel mechanic by trade, and could build or fix anything, but he also loved to cook. He would stuff pumpkins or squash with anything he could in the fall. I like to use pie pumpkins, because I love how sweet the flesh is, and it loves to be paired with apples. —Chef Tommy Kaszubowski

Get more gourmet Thanksgiving recipes by Tommy here.

Ingredients

  • 1 pie pumpkin
  • 2  apples, golden delicious or other hearty apple, peeled, diced, and sautéed briefly
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 cup bulk breakfast sausage
  • 1 cup walnuts, toasted
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 1⁄4 cup sage
  • 1 quart apple cider
  • 1 teaspoon cold butter
  • 1 cup arugula, washed and trimmed
  • 8 small slices Humboldt Fog goat cheese

Preparation

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Carefully cut pumpkin into quarters and scoop out seeds and fibers; save seeds if desired. Season pumpkin with salt, pepper and nutmeg and roast until golden and tender, about 30 to 40 minutes. While the pumpkin is in the oven, place the sausage in a large sauté pan and render with a touch of oil until browned. Add the onions and continue to cook until onions start to color. Add the diced apples and cook 3–4 minutes longer. Transfer to a bowl and fold in the walnuts, cranberries and sage. While pumpkins are roasting, place cider in a pot and boil until thick, being careful not to burn.

Remove cider reduction from heat and whisk in butter. Keep warm. Remove pumpkin quarters from the oven and allow to rest at room temperature for 10 minutes. Do not turn off oven. Fill the pumpkins evenly with the sausage mixture, top with goat cheese, and roast for 10 minutes longer or until the mixture is heated through and cheese has slightly melted.

Assembly

Place the stuffed pumpkins in the center of each of four plates, garnish with arugula, and drizzle cider reduction over the top. Serve immediately.