Cut Acorn Squash lengthwise and scoop out seeds with a spoon. Brush insides with a mix of 1 T olive oil and 1 T maple syrup. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper and lay skin side up on a greased, or parchment lined baking sheet, and roast in a hot oven for 30-40 minutes, until you can pierce through skin and flesh with a fork. Remove from the oven and using a metal spatula, turn over, trying to keep caramelized edges intact, and let cool. Place in a baking dish.
While squash is roasting in the oven, brown Italian sausage (or soy sausage), set aside and wipe out pan. In the same pan, saute parsnips and onions in 2 T olive oil, on medium heat, until tender, about 10 minutes.
Add apples and sage, and saute 5 more minutes, until apples are tender. You may need to add a little more olive oil. Generously Salt and Pepper to taste.
Splash with a little white wine and add kale and pecans. When wine has evaporated, add 1 T maple syrup.Add sausage back in and taste for salt, adding if necessary. Add a little fresh grated nutmeg or a pinch or two ground. Fill the squash with the apple parsnip sausage mixture and place in a 350 F until heated through (about 15 minutes)
In a small bowl, coat pecans with real maple syrup (only real maple will work here) Add a pinch of salt and some cracked pepper. Spread out on a greased baking sheet and using a timer, bake 8 minutes to start, in a 400 F oven, give them a mix, then bake another 7 – 13 minutes. These need to toast up nicely for the right “crunch,” but time will vary depending on your oven – so keep a close eye on these to make sure they don’t burn.
Remove, let cool 3-4 minutes, then use a metal spatula to unstick them from the sheet pan. If they are completely stuck, place them back in the oven for a minute or two, to loosen, and try again. Then let cool completely, store in a zip lock bag. I make these in big batches and use in salads or cheese platters.