Sausage-Filled Pumpkin

2 cups water
1 cup brown rice (uncooked)
2 teaspoons chicken bouillon granules
1/2 teaspoon curry powder (or more)
1 pound bulk Italian sausage
4 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
2 small onions, chopped
1 garlic clove, finely minced

4-5 tablespoons dried raisins
1/4 cup chicken broth
1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1/2 teaspoon rubbed sage
1/4 teaspoon dried marjoram
1 medium-sized regular pumpkin or 2 medium pie pumpkins
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

In a large saucepan, bring the water, rice, bouillon and curry powder to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 45-50 minutes or until tender.

While the rice mixture is cooking, cook sausage in a large skillet over medium heat until no longer pink; drain and set aside. In the same skillet, saute the mushrooms and onion until tender (about 3-5 minutes). Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer.

Reduce heat; add the raisins, broth, poultry seasoning, sage and marjoram. Return sausage to the pan. Cook and stir for 5-7 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat; stir in rice.

Wash pumpkin and cut a 3-4 inch circle around the stem. Remove tops and set aside (do not discard tops). Remove and discard loose fibers; save seeds for another use. Prick inside each pumpkin with a fork; sprinkle with salt and garlic powder. Stuff with sausage mixture; replace tops.

Place in a 13 x 9 baking dish; add about 1/2 inch of water. Bake, uncovered, at 350° for I hour. Cover loosely with foil; bake about 30 minutes longer. Check to see if pumpkin is tender; if necessary, bake additional 15 minutes or until tender.

To Serve: 

Remove top; cut pumpkin into wedges to serve, being sure to include the pumpkin with the filling. 

Makes approximately 8 servings

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