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Dinner Tonight! | Quick Fix

La Pasta Kabocha

November 28, 2001|MAYI BRADY | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Winter squash can be both intriguing and intimidating. While these big vegetables look attractive, you may not know what to do with them. One idea? Use a kabocha or butternut squash in pasta.

In this recipe, the sweetness of the squash offsets the heat of the spicy Italian sausage.

To peel the squash, carefully cut it in half, then place the cut side down on a cutting board. Use a large sharp knife to carefully "shave" the peel off.

Add a salad dressed with a simple vinaigrette and bread to complete the meal.

Spicy Sausage and Squash Rigatoni

Active Work Time: 15 minutes * Total Preparation Time: 25 minutes

*

Salt

11/2 cups chicken broth

1/2 pound kabocha or butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut in 1-inch pieces

1 pound rigatoni

1 tablespoon olive oil

3/4 pound hot Italian sausage, casing removed

1 large onion, chopped

1 red bell pepper, chopped

2 tablespoons whipping cream

2 tablespoons minced fresh sage

1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

Pepper, optional

*

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil.

Meanwhile, bring the chicken broth to a boil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the squash, reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and simmer until the squash is tender, about 10 minutes.

While the squash is cooking, add the rigatoni to the boiling water. Reduce the heat to medium and cook until the pasta is tender yet still firm, about 12 minutes.

Heat the olive oil in a deep, 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and break it up with a wooden spoon. Cook until it's no longer pink, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the onion and bell pepper and cook until tender, about 4 minutes.

Add the squash with its cooking liquid to the skillet. Drain the pasta and add to the skillet along with the whipping cream and sage. Cook, stirring, just until heated through, about 2 minutes. Toss with the cheese and pepper to taste, if desired, and serve.

*

4 servings. Each serving: 564 calories; 1,253 mg sodium; 70 mg cholesterol; 28 grams fat; 10 grams saturated fat; 49 grams carbohydrates; 28 grams protein; 6.08 grams fiber.

MENU

Spicy Sausage and Squash Rigatoni

Green Salad

Crusty Bread

STAPLES

Chicken broth

Olive oil

Onion

Whipping cream

SHOPPING LIST

1 red bell pepper

Parmigiano-

Reggiano

1 pound rigatoni

Fresh sage

3/4 pound hot Italian sausage

1/2 pound kabocha or butternut squash

COUNTDOWN

25 minutes before: Bring water and broth to boil. Peel and cut up squash, remove casing from sausage, chop onion and bell pepper.

15 minutes before: Start cooking squash and pasta, grate cheese, mince sage.

10 minutes before: Finish making pasta. *

Placemats from Sur La Table.

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