Cozy, comforting and full of flavorful squash and greens, this pasta hits all the right notes.
1 winter squash of your choice, peeled, seeded, and cut into bite-sized chunks
1 Walla Walla sweet onion, cut into 1-inch chunks
1 bunch Lacinato kale, leaves pulled from tough stems and torn into small pieces
8-10 fresh sage leaves, torn
5 large garlic cloves, coarse chopped
⅓ cup olive oil
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 tight-packed tablespoon brown sugar
1 pound imported pasta, such as this week’s orecchiette
1 pound Italian sausage
½ cup heavy cream
¾ cup Grana-style cheese, grated
Sea salt and fresh ground black pepper
1. Slip a large shallow sheet pan into the oven and preheat it to 450°. Bring salted water to a boil in a large pot. In a big bowl, toss together the first eight ingredients, seasoning the vegetable mix generously with salt and pepper.
2. Pull out the oven rack holding the sheet pan. Taking care not to burn yourself, turn the vegetables onto the hot sheet pan and spread it out. Bake for 25 minutes, or until the squash is tender, turning the vegetables two or three times during roasting. Once the squash is tender, turn on the broiler to caramelize it. Watch the vegetables closely, you want crusty brown edges on the squash and wilted, almost crisp greens.
3. While the squash is cooking, cook the sausage in a skillet until no longer pink on the inside, crumbling into bite-size pieces as it cooks. Set aside. At the same time, drop the pasta into the boiling water and cook it until tender, but with some firmness to the bite. Drain in a colander.
4. Scrape the roasted vegetables and sausage into a serving bowl. Add the hot pasta, and the heavy cream. Toss together, and add salt and pepper to taste. Add grated Grana-style cheese and an additional and serve hot.