omg omg omg – this was SO good!!! I made it last night and although there was chaos all around me (kids, william and dog while Brian was on a work call) I poured a glass of red and put on “french cooking music” on the Alexa and had a nice little time for myself 🙌🏻 It is multi-step but I promise it’s SUPER EASY! I can’t take one ounce of credit for the recipe, I followed it to a T from The Pioneer Woman whom I love.
1 tsp. kosher salt, plus more for the pasta
2 tbsp. olive oil, plus more for the pan
8 oz. loose sweet or hot Italian sausage
1/2 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/4 tsp. chili powder, plus more to taste
Black pepper, to taste
12 oz. orecchiette
1/2 – 1 bag of kale, depending on how much you wantShaved parmesan cheese, for topping
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large nonstick skillet (I’m obsessed with our Our Place Pan AND it’s $30 off right now) over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and cook, breaking it up with a spoon and stirring occasionally, until browned, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a bowl. Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of the drippings. (If there’s less than 2 tablespoons, add some olive oil.)
- Reduce the heat to medium. Add the squash, toss to coat with the oil and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt, the chili powder and some pepper. Cook, tossing occasionally, until the squash is deep golden brown and just tender (but not falling apart), about 15 minutes. (Add a few tablespoons of water if the squash is getting too dark or dry before it’s tender.) Remove to the bowl with the sausage.
- Meanwhile, add the pasta to the boiling water and cook, stirring occasionally, until very al dente, which is usually a minute or two less than the box calls for. Reserve 3/4 cup cooking water, then drain.
- Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil in the skillet over medium-high heat and add about half the kale and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cook, tossing, until wilted, adding more kale as each batch wilts. Add the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and toss. The whole process will take about 3 minutes. Some of the kale will be browned and some less cooked—that’s fine!
- Add 1/2 cup of the reserved cooking water to the pan, then the squash, sausage, pasta and a generous amount of pepper. Cook, carefully tossing with 2 big spoons to avoid mashing the squash, until well combined and the pasta is al dente, about 2 minutes. If it seems dry, add more of the reserved cooking water. Top with shaved parmesan.
Guys, this is so good to serve to your family (or make a little extra pasta with butter and cheese if you have picky eaters), and also SO GOOD for a dinner party