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.