To cut winter squash, microwave at HIGH 1 minute. This will soften the squash so you can easily cut through the thick shell.
1 (2-pound) butternut squash, cut into 4 pieces
1/2 cup uncooked long-grain rice
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup finely chopped shallots
3 garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups fat-free milk
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded fontina cheese
How to Make It
Place squash in a Dutch oven; cover with water. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 35 minutes or until tender. Drain.
. Preheat oven to 400°.
. Cook rice according to package directions, omitting salt and fat.
. While squash and rice cook, melt butter in a medium, heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add shallots and garlic; sauté 2 minutes or until tender. Add flour; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly with a whisk. Gradually add milk; cook 5 minutes or until mixture is thick, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; stir in parsley and next 4 ingredients.
. Scoop out squash pulp; discard squash peel. Combine squash, cheese, and garlic-butter sauce in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended. Stir in rice. Pour squash mixture into a 1 1/2-quart casserole coated with cooking spray.
. Bake at 400° for 45 minutes or until edges are golden and top is set. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.