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.

Bistro Pasta Salad

This pasta salad is great served warm but is equally good served cold.  It is a really nice summer pasta salad and is perfect for a picnic lunch or summer potluck and it makes a lot to feed a crowd.

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450g box bowtie pasta

Olive oil

2-3 cloves garlic, minced

14oz jar marinated artichoke

14oz jar roasted red peppers

14oz can crushed tomatoes

2 cups baby spinach (you can use regular spinach, just chop it)

1/4 cup chopped fresh basil

sal and pepper to taste

a good sprinkling of grated parmesan (probably about 1/4 cup)

Cook pasta according to package directions for al dente.

mince garlic and toss with a little olive oil

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put strain pasta in bowl with the garlic and toss generously with more olive oil

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Chop the roasted peppers and artichokes, into bite size-ish pieces

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Toss that in on the pasta

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Add the tomatoes, at this stage I season with a little salt and pepper and taste to make sure it is how I want it

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Toss in the spinach and some parmesan

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Mix it all together

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Serve topped with a little sprinkle of parmesan and some baguette…and a nice glass of wine.

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Rotini Pie and Maple Sap

Today we were going to visit an old working sugar bush to see maple syrup being made the old fashioned way, but it was a bust, sort of. We went got kind of lost found another sugar bush that was finishing up production, the new way, with tubing and vacuum. Not very exciting for a 4 year old. We did see some friendly, very curious cows and did see a few taps and buckets.

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I was planning to have some nice pictures and stories from the sugar bush, but some adventures just don’t pan out.

We came home and made rotini pie for supper.

I have been making this recipe since I was very young, at least early teens. I think the original recipe came off a pasta box or sauce jar and has been adapted and changed many times. I am always asked for the recipe. It is quite simple and thrifty, could even be adapted for a vegetarian (as long as cheese and eggs were ok).

Basically, make a meat sauce (or meat free).

I just sauté lightly a small onion finely diced with a large clove (or two small ones) of garlic. I finely chopped, but you could mince.

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I add a little pepper and some dried oregano (ours we dried from our garden last summer). Add pasta sauce and simmer.

Sometimes I also add a splash of balsamic vinegar.

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Cook 3-4 cups of rotini according to package directions. Drain and add back to the pot and let cool for just a couple of minutes.

Stir in two eggs that have been lightly beaten, a handful of shredded mozzarella, and about ¼ cup finely grated parmesan.

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Stir together and place into a 9 or 10 inch pie plate.

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Sprinkle another couple of handfuls of mozzarella on top of pasta and sprinkle of parmesan.

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Top with meat sauce, then more mozza and parmesan.

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Bake in 350F oven for 20-30 minutes until hot and cheese is melted and bubbly.

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Let cool about 10 minutes before cutting into pieces.

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Very Yummy!