I love that I made the decision to start a food blog a little over four years ago. But I'm not the only one that will tell you - the fun has a way of fading to stress from time to time. Pressures of creativity, uniqueness, pretty pictures, and "what if they don't like me?" can rear their ugly heads.
These are the times when you have to remember that, while we would all like to be wildly successful, it's important not to lose yourself along the way. This is supposed to be a happy place!
When I stop worrying about numbers and return to why I started blogging, I find myself noticing the posts that are visited the most often on my site. I love how this changes from season to season. It reminds me that, yeah, the post I did two years ago does have some value.
Right now the top post on my blog is Patty Pan Squash Stuffed with Basil Orzo. I made it a few years ago after first discovering this veggie. Everyone seems to want advice for how to tackle patty pan's pretty, yet hard to handle, shape in the kitchen.
I've felt challenged to come up with a new stuffing since I made that first patty pan, so here we have it. This time the squash came straight from the garden.
I'm continuing the recent trend of using black rice, and with pastured heritage breed sausage, this recipe doesn't leave out the meat-lovers.
It's tasty on it's own, but if you have some warm marinara on hand to spoon on top, it's even better!
Black Rice and Sausage Stuffed Patty Pan Squash Recipe
Extra virgin olive oil
4-6 patty pan squash
1/2 lb ground pastured pork sausage
2 yellow bell peppers, chopped
1/2 large onion, chopped
1 1/2 cups black rice, cooked
1/4 cup Panko bread crumbs
3/4 cup ricotta cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
Marinara for topping (optional)
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Grease a 9 x 13 in baking dish lightly with olive oil.
The recipe will fill 6 small squash or 4 larger squash. Wash the squash. Slice off the tops, and using a spoon, gently scoop out the insides. Don't scoop all the way through the bottom. You want to create a cup to hold the filling. Chop up the squash you scooped out and set it aside.
Lightly coat the squash cups in olive oil and pierce with a fork in a few spots. Bake the squash for about 15 minutes, until they begin to soften. Remove from the oven and set aside.
In a skillet, brown the sausage on medium heat. When it is about half way done, add the bell peppers, onion and the chopped squash you scooped out. Cook until the sausage is no longer pink.
Stir the rice, bread crumbs and ricotta into the sausage. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Once the filling is cool enough to handle, divide it evenly into each squash. Pile it high and press gently with a spoon so that it is compact.
Bake for 20 more minutes, or until the squash is tender when pierced with a fork. Top with marinara before serving. Serves 4 to 6.