The making of this stew came from wanting to make pasta fagioli and using butternut squash. When making stews and soups I rarely measure anything out. Actually I don’t typically measure anything when I cook so putting some of these recipes in print has been a learning process. I am constantly stopping myself to measure so I can tell all of you how much of an ingredient I used. Cooking is all about taste. If you have watched any cooking shows you are already used to hearing, “Taste Taste Taste”. Tasting your food constantly allows you to adjust your seasonings to your preference.
So I said this started as wanting to make a Pasta Fagioli but I know this ended up far from that original thought.
- 1 pound of ground sausage
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 -2 cups each of celery and carrots, chopped
- Half of a medium butternut squash, cubed
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 – 12 oz can of Cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
- 2- 28 0z cans of whole peeled tomatoes, pureed
- 3 bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon each red pepper flakes, oregano, basil, thyme
- Olive oil (EVOO)
- Salt and Pepper, to taste
- Chicken broth, to thin out as needed
- 1 1/2 cups pasta ( I used orecchiette)
Making stews/soup is relatively easy…sauté meat and veggies, add broth and seasonings- let all blend together by simmering. Add pasta about 20 minutes before serving time and have some crusty bread ready.
- In your Dutch oven or large pot heat about 2 Tablespoons of EVOO. Add your sausage and brown. Remove sausage from pan. I place on a papertowel lined plate to soak up some of the grease.
- Add your onion, celery, and carrots. Sauté until onions start to turn translucent and then add garlic and your butternut squash. Continue cooking until squash starts to soften.
- Depending on the sausage used sometimes I don’t have a lot of grease, but if you do remove the veggies and wipe out pan. I have also added my veggies to the meat after browning slightly so there is no right or wrong. Okay well I am sure some chef will say there is a right or wrong but it is still going to taste good!
- Add your sausage to the veggies in the pot. Add the cannellini beans, the pureed tomato sauce and seasonings. Let come to boil, turn to simmer and have a glass of wine.
- The longer it simmers the flavors will all come together. If you need to thin it out add some chicken broth. Season with salt and pepper as needed.
- When you are happy with the flavors turn up the heat and add the pasta and cook until the pasta is al dente.
- Serve with some grated cheese on top and bread. I choose shaved Grana Padano and Epi bread. Actually it is Pain d’Epi or wheat stalk bread. Epi is perfect for soups as everyone can break off their own section.