"Baked Carnival Squash"
1 carnival squash
Ras el Hanout spice blend
Preheat oven to 375F. Cut squash in half from stem end to blossom end. Scoop out and discard the seeds. Scrape the inside to remove the strings.
Put the halves of the squash in a baking dish, skin side down. Add brown sugar to fill about half the hollow, around 1/8 cup per half squash. Sprinkle with Ras el Hanout spice blend, or your preferred spice. Top with a chunk of butter, about 1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon depending on your taste. Pour water into the baking dish around the squash (not inside them) to about half an inch deep.
Bake for about 45 minutes. Squash should be tender when poked with a fork. You can scrape out all the insides and mash them together, or serve each half separately and pick it lose one bite at a time. One half squash will serve one person, although if you mash the pulp then you might manage three servings.
Carnival squash is a cross between acorn squash and sweet dumpling squash. It has ribs like an acorn, but the color is white to pale yellow streaked with vivid green and orange. The rind is tough, like heritage acorns. This squash is beautiful and delicious. The flavor intensifies when baked or roasted, and it has a lovely large hollow inside for stuffing. If you can't find carnival squash, this recipe works with acorn or any similar squash.
Ras el Hanout is a sweet-hot spice blend from Morocco. It can have up to 30 ingredients, although 10-12 is more typical. You can also use cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, Garam Masala, or other flavorings.