1 Roast the squash: Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Scrub the outside of the squash to get rid of any dirt. Cut the squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds.
Brush the outside and inside of the squash halves with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and transfer to a baking sheet.
Roast in the oven for 30 to 40 minutes. When it’s ready, you should be able to easily pierce the flesh with a fork. Start checking for doneness at 30 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside.
While the squash roasts, prepare the bread crumb topping and filling.
2 Make the breadcrumb topping: Combine breadcrumbs, salt, pepper, thyme, and oil in a small bowl. Stir well with a fork to make sure everything is coated. Set aside.
3 Make the rice: Rinse the rice in a fine mesh strainer under cold running water. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add rice and toast, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. The rice should look golden.
Add water, butter, bay leaf, and salt to the pot. Cover, and bring to a low boil, still over medium heat for about 12 to 15 minutes. Remove from heat, but keep covered, and let it steam while you finish making the rest of the meal.
4 Cook the pancetta: In a medium sauté pan, cook the pancetta over medium to medium low heat, for about 20 minutes. The goal is to render the fat.
When crispy, scoop out pancetta and set aside. You will add it back to the filling later. There should be about 2 tablespoons of fat in your pan.
5 Cook the veggies: To the pan with the rendered fat, add mushrooms, onion, garlic, oregano, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, and chopped fennel seeds.
Cook for 15 minutes over medium heat, stirring once or twice until the mushrooms have shrunk and the onions are translucent.
6 Add the tomatoes and rice to the veggies: Add the cherry tomatoes and 1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar to the pan with the mushrooms. Stir to coat. Continue cooking until the tomatoes begin to fall apart, about 7 to 10 minutes.
Stir in the cooked rice, cooked pancetta bits and chopped parsley. Taste and add more salt and pepper to your liking. Remove from the heat.
7 Stuff the squash: Fill each half of squash halfway with the rice-veggie filling, using about 1/4 cup in each half. Crumble the chevre and sprinkle evenly over each half.
Spoon the rest of the filling on top of the chevre. Sprinkle each half with panko mixture.
8 Broil the filled squashes: Turn the oven to broil. Put the squash under the broiler for 1 to 3 minutes until the filling is warmed through and the panko is a deep golden brown.
First appeared on simplyrecipes.com