Pasta with Pumpkin, Sausage, and Cavolo Nero

We are having a very unusual weather nowadays, it actually feels like Fall!!!  In the past years, it felt like we somehow bypassed Fall and went straight from Summer to Winter.  It’s nice just wearing my light sweater and going out, rather than wearing jackets or coats.  

Anyway, a little while ago my cousin gave me a squash (looked like a cross between a butternut squash and a pumpkin) and I found this recipe from Fine Cooking (yes, again).  I made this for our dinner last night,  this such a delicious meal and Fall-like you have to try it!! 

IMG_5240

Kosher salt
1 lb. sweet Italian sausage, casings removed if using links
1 Tbs. olive oil (optional)
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
3 cups 3/4-inch-diced peeled, seeded pumpkin
1/4 cup dry white wine
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. dried marjoram
1-1/2 cups lower-salt chicken broth
10 oz. cavolo nero kale (aka Lacinato, black, or dinosaur kale), trimmed, ribs removed, leaves cut into 1-inch pieces
8 oz. dried campanelle pasta
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano; more for serving
Freshly ground black pepper

Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil over high heat.
In a heavy-duty 12-inch skillet over medium heat, cook the sausage, breaking it up into small pieces with a wooden spoon, until mostly browned, 6 to 8 minutes. Push the sausage towards the edge of the skillet and add the olive oil if the center of the pan is dry (this will depend on the amount of fat in the sausage). Add the onion and cook until golden and the sausage is well browned, about 8 minutes. Stir in the pumpkin, wine, garlic, and marjoram and cook until the wine evaporates, 3 to 4 minutes. Add 3/4 cup of the broth and cook until the pumpkin is almost tender, about 8 minutes. Add the kale and the remaining 3/4 cup broth, cover, and cook until the pumpkin and kale are tender, about 4 minutes.
Meanwhile, cook the pasta in the boiling water according to package directions until al dente. Reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta water and then drain well. Add the pasta to the skillet with enough of the pasta water to coat the pasta and vegetables generously. Stir in the Parmigiano and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve with additional Parmigiano.

My opinion: If you had noticed in my opinion section, in many places I mention how I enjoy various textures and multi-layered flavors.  This is one of them: you can imagine from the textures of squash, kale and pasta (all soft after cooking, but so different).  Even the flavors are diverse, but they all come together as one. No one flavor is dominant, but you can taste them.    This is pretty simple to make, and I bet everyone will love this dish.  My youngest daughter was a bit apprehensive at first so she asked for a smaller serving, after finishing her bowl of pasta she went back for a 2nd serving! 

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