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Preheat oven to 400F
Cut Acorn Squash lengthwise and scoop out seeds with a spoon ( or scoop after baking!). Brush insides with a mix of 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 tablespoon maple syrup. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper and lay skin-side up on a greased, or parchment lined baking sheet, and roast in a hot oven for 30-40 minutes, until you can pierce through skin and flesh with a fork. Remove from the oven and using a metal spatula, turn over, trying to keep caramelized edges intact, and let cool. Place in a baking dish.
While squash is roasting in the oven, brown Italian sausage (or soy sausage), set aside and wipe out pan.
In the same pan, saute parsnips and onions in olive oil, on medium heat, until tender, about 10 minutes.
Add apples, kale and sage, and saute 5 more minutes, until apples are tender. You may need to add a little more olive oil. Generously Salt and Pepper to taste.
Splash with a little white wine and add pecans. When wine has evaporated, add 1 T maple syrup. Add sausage back in and taste for salt, adding if necessary. Add a little fresh grated nutmeg or a pinch or two of ground. Fill the squash with the apple parsnip sausage mixture and place in a 350 F until heated through (about 15-20 minutes)
Pre heat oven to 400F
In a small bowl, coat pecans with real maple syrup (only real maple will work here) Add a pinch of salt and some cracked pepper. Spread out on a greased baking sheet and using a timer, bake 8 minutes to start, in a 400 F oven, give them a mix, then bake another 7 – 13 minutes. These need to toast up nicely for the right “crunch,” but time will vary depending on your oven – so keep a close eye on these to make sure they don’t burn.
Remove, let cool 3-4 minutes, then use a metal spatula to unstick them from the sheet pan. If they are completely stuck, place them back in the oven for a minute or two, to loosen, and try again. Then let cool completely, store in a zip lock bag. I make these in big batches and use in salads or cheese platters.