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Published: Tuesday, 11/11/2003

Baked Pumpkin Stuffed with Sausage and Sage

6 mini pumpkins (21/2 to 3 inches in diameter)

12 to 16 ounces bulk pork sausage

1 egg

1 cup coarse Italian-style seasoned bread crumbs, homemade or purchased

1 tablespoon minced fresh sage

1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Salt to taste

With a sharp knife, slice off the upper one-fourth of the pumpkins and set the tops aside. Scoop out the seeds, and if necessary, enough flesh to leave a shell about 1/2-inch thick.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, combine sausage, egg, bread crumbs, sage, parsley, pepper, and salt, and mix well. Fill each pumpkin with some of the stuffing, mounding it 1/2-inch above the rim. Place the pumpkins on a baking sheet with their tops alongside, stem up. Bake until the filling is firm and has begun to pull away just slightly from the sides and the pumpkin shells are easily pierced with a knife, about 35 to 45 minutes.

Replace the tops and serve hot.

Yield: 6 as a first course or side dish

Source: Holiday Pumpkins

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