1-2 acorn, festival, or other favorite winter squash (we often roast an extra squash just for the filling, but you don't have to.)
1 lb Italian sausage
1 tsp Italian seasoning
3 stalks celery, or 1/2 medium celeriac, peeled
3 medium carrots
1 medium onion
1 head garlic
1 cup cooked rice (optional)
1/2 cup dried cranberries, or currants
1/2 cup sliced almonds or pine nuts
1 cup ricotta
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese (optional)
Heat oven to 375°. Halve and seed squash, reserving seeds for roasting if desired. Coat lightly with olive oil or butter and place cut-side-down on a baking sheet. Tuck the garlic into one of the squash cavities. Roast until tender when pricked with a fork, approximately 45 minutes. Don't overcook, or the shell won't hold up to stuffing.
Meanwhile, chop the onion, carrots, and celery into small pieces. Saute onion in plenty of olive oil or butter until just starting to brown, then add carrots, celery, and Italian seasoning. Cook until just tender. Remove to a plate, and cook the sausage until browned. In a large bowl, mix vegetables, sausage, rice, raisins, and nuts.
When squash have finished roasting, remove from oven and let cool enough to handle. (Leave the oven on!) Scoop out the flesh, leaving at least 1/2 inch in two shells for stuffing. Add the squash to rest of the filling, and mix well. Stir in the ricotta, and taste for salt and pepper.
Mound the filling back into two squash shells. Sprinkle with Parmesan and drizzle with olive oil. Return to the oven and cook until filling is heated through and cheese is melted. Enjoy!