Squash and Kale Orecchiette with Italian Sausage

This is a delicious fall pasta. The original recipe is from a magazine cut out (I have a lot those). I think the magazine was The Pioneer Woman Magazine. It got us to eat our weekly bunch of kale!

Ingredients:

1tbsp olive oil

2-3 Italian sausages removed from casings (I used medium heat)

1/2 medium butternut squash, peeled seeded and and cut in 1/2 ” cubes

1/4 tsp chili powder, plus a pinch extra

Black pepper

1 bunch kale, stems discarded and leaves torn into bite size pieces

Parmesan cheese for serving

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add sausage meat and cook breaking up with a wooden spoon, stirring occasionally until browned.

Transfer to a bowl and set aside.

Pour off drippings if there is a lot. You probably need about a tbsp of oil. The sausage I used didn’t leave much dripping so I added a drizzle of olive oil to the pan.

Add the squash and toss to coat with the oil then sprinkle with chili powder, 1/2 tsp salt and a sprinkle of black pepper. Cook stirring occasionally until squash is browning and tender (not mushy or falling apart). I did have to add water to the pan a couple of times because it was browning and getting dry but not getting softer. Add a few tbsp at a time as needed. Once the squash is cooked add to the bowl with the sausage.

Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add pasta and cook until al dente. Reserve about 2/2-3/4 cup of the pasta water before draining.

Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in skillet over med-high heat. Add half the kale and 1/4 tsp salt. Cook tossing until wilted. Then add other half and another 1/4 tsp salt and toss to mix and cook until all wilted.

Add 1/2 cup of the reserved pasta water to the pan with kale and then add the squash sausage mixture and cooked pasta. Give it a generous sprinkle of black pepper. Cook tossing carefully until heated through.

If it seems dry add the rest of the reserved pasta water.

Serve topped with shaved Parmesan.

This was delicious and the leftovers were really good the next day for lunch. I will definitely be making this one again and I hope you give it a try.

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Mashed Potato with Kale

This side dish to delicious.  Even if you don’t like kale just try it once I guarantee you will like it here.  I know at least two people that do not like kale, don’t eat kale, but love this. I didn’t get a picture of it plated because I took this to a friends house for dinner.

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This is not a low cal recipe.  It is a hearty stick to your ribs winter dish. We only make it about twice in a year for a treat, though it is so good I could eat it every week.

You will need:

about 2 lbs potatoes

1 bunch kale

3tbsp butter

2 cups finely diced onion or leeks thinly sliced (I use Vidalia sweet onion or leeks)

1/2  to 1 cup half-&-half (10% cream) (start out with 1/2 cup  and add more as needed)

1/2 to 1 cup milk (start out with 1/2 cup and add more as needed)

1/2 to 1 cup grated while medium or old cheddar, you want flavour here ( I use Balderson’s)

Boil potatoes in slightly salted water until soft and then drain. once drained well, mash.

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While the potatoes are cooking boil another large pot of water and cook the kale for about 5 minutes.  It doesn’t get fully cooked at this stage as it will get finished in the oven later. One it is cool enough to handle chop it finely, just run the knife through it several times, it doesn’t have to be pretty.

In another small pot melt butter and cook onions with a sprinkle of salt until they are very soft and translucent.

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Mix cooked onion mixture into the mashed potato.  Add cooked chopped kale, cream and milk (be slow with adding the milk & cream so you don’t make it to runny.  It should be very creamy but not watery.  I add 1/2 of cup of each at first and add more as required to get the consistency as I want it.  How much you add will depend on the potatoes you use and the moisture content.  Mash all together, add salt to taste.  I usually toss in 1/4-1/2 cup of grated cheese and mix it through as well, for extra cheesy flavour.

Place mashed mixture in baking dish or casserole dish and sprinkle top with grated cheese and bake at 350F until cheese is melted and top is lightly browned, about 20-30 minutes.

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Cheesy warm creamy mashed potato flecked with little bits of green.  Delicious!

 

Adapted from: The Green Door Restaurant Vegetarian Cookbook.