Cacio e Pepe Rice-Stuffed Kabocha Squash Recipe

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Nine times out of ten, if you hear Cacio e Pepe, there's usually some sort of pasta involved. Cacio e Pepe, which literally translates to "cheese and pepper" in multiple Italian dialects is a popular dish comprised of pasta, shaved parmesan cheese and fresh cracked black pepper, for the most part. Throughout the years, many recipes have been created with the "cheese and pepper" premise, without the pasta. For example, Cacio e Pepe hash browns, pizza, Brussels, and the list goes on. So, why not add the same famed cheese and pepper combination to some rice to stuff into some seasonal squash to celebrate Fall?

Cacio e Pepe stuffed Squash ingredients

Cacio e Pepe stuffed squash ingredients

This easy, cheesy, crowd-pleasing recipe is the perfect marriage of Italian and fall influence. With minimal ingredients involved, this dish is also quite easy on the wallet, and  every ingredient can be easily acquired with one stop at Rollin' Oats.

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Kabocha squash, for those who aren't aware, is a seasonal winter squash that is available during a small window of time. If you can't find Kabocha squash, most any other winter squash, such as acorn or sugar pumpkin, will work just fine.

Cacio e Pepe Stuffed Kabocha Squash

Cacio e Pepe Stuffed Kabocha Squash

While the chili crisp is optional, I highly suggest that you take the time to make it. Store it in a mason jar, pop it in the refrigerator and enjoy it for up to a month. We make this in our house often and use it to top salads, sandwiches, pizza, steak, chicken, and so on.

Cacio e Pepe Rice-Stuffed Kabocha Squash sliced with Chili Crisp

For this dish, wine expert Ken Smith recommends Tenuta di Renieri Chianti Classico 2016. He notes that it's an elegant offering, which presents aromas of crushed berries, violets and lavender. It possesses a medium body with soft tannins and a long finish.

Print Recipe
Cacio e Pepe Rice-Stuffed Kabocha Squash
The great thing about this recipe is that if you can't find a Kabocha squash, virtually any similar-size winter squash will suffice! Try Acorn or Sugar Pumpkin.
Prep Time 20 Minutes
Cook Time 1 Hour
Servings
People
Ingredients
Stuffed Kabocha Squash
Chili Crisp (Optional)
Prep Time 20 Minutes
Cook Time 1 Hour
Servings
People
Ingredients
Stuffed Kabocha Squash
Chili Crisp (Optional)
Instructions
Stuffed Kabocha Squash
  1. Preheat oven to 375F. Cut the top off of the squash (much like you would when carving a pumpkin) and scoop out and discard all of the seeds.
    Squash with the top cut off and seeds removed
  2. Rub inside of squash with olive oil garlic powder and salt. Roast in preheated oven for 40 minutes.
  3. Increase oven temperature to 400F. Spoon combined rice mixture into roasted squash and bake for 30 minutes.
    Stuffed squash, pre oven
  4. Remove from oven, slice squash into quarters and serve topped with chopped parsley, more parmesan cheese, and Chili Crisp, if desired.
Chili Crisp
  1. In a medium sauce pan, combine garlic, shallots, oil and cinnamon sticks. Simmer over medium heat for 20 minutes, until shallots and garlic are golden without taking on too much color. Remove from heat.
  2. While shallot mixture cooks, In a medium bowl, combine ginger, chili flakes, sugar and soy sauce. Strain oil of shallot mixture over ginger mixture through a fine mesh sieve and stir to combine. Set shallots and garlic in sieve aside to cool for a few minutes. Discard cinnamon sticks and stir shallots and garlic into chili oil mixture. Store in a mason jar and keep for up to one month.
    Chili Crisp
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