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Chicken Apple Sausage with Butternut Kale Pasta

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Susannah Locketti: This dish was inspired by the sausage I found at my grocery store last week. I taste-tested it and loved the sweet yet salty flavor complemented with a little hint of maple. The sausage is precooked (saves tons of time) and came in a four-pack for a little over five bucks.

Chicken Apple Sausage with Butternut Kale Pasta
I decided to pair the sausage with a bag of frozen, cubed butternut squash (love that all the work is done for me), along with a bag of frozen chopped kale. Both were on sale at my grocery store this week. A box of large elbows on sale completed my shopping for this quick and easy dish. It only needed two other ingredients which we all have in our pantry: olive oil and Parmesan cheese. 

Chicken Apple Sausage with Butternut Kale Pasta 
Serves 4 to 6 

8 ounces large elbow pasta 
1 bag frozen, cubed butternut squash 
1 TB chopped fresh rosemary (optional) 
1 bag frozen chopped kale 
2 chicken apple sausages, sliced into thin rounds 
1/2 cup olive oil, divided 
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese 
Salt and pepper 

While the pasta is boiling, heat 1/4 cup of the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the butternut squash, season with salt and pepper and toss for a few minutes until softened. Add the rosemary and toss again. Add the sausage and kale to the pan. Season again with salt and pepper and toss the mixture until heated through. Drain the pasta and add to the butternut mixture. Add remaining 1/4 olive oil and toss gently until thoroughly combined. Season to taste and serve with Parmesan cheese. 

Susannah's Time- and Money-Saving Sense
The precooked sausage is an obvious timesaver; just heat and eat ... love that! Buying the veggies frozen and pre-prepped was another timesaver. They also happened to be on sale, which worked out great. I happen to grow rosemary, which is why I used it in this recipe. No biggie if you are without it. You could also substitute thyme or oregano. A well-stocked pantry should always have a nice olive oil and Parmesan cheese on hand. Garlic would also work well in this dish; if you have a few cloves, add them in with the butternut squash. To make this dish vegetarian and still stay within budget, feel free to substitute a can of cannellini beans for the sausage.

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7 comments so far | Post a comment now
Sarah B November 4, 2010, 8:12 AM

I usually really like your ideas, but I’m sorry, this sounds AWFUL! What child will eat this? What husband will eat this? This dinner will not end up on my table :(

bilety-BeassumFews November 4, 2010, 8:58 AM

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Kate W. November 7, 2010, 7:55 PM

I made this tonight, and I thought it was really good. The kale and the butternut squash went very well together. It easy to make, although I wish the amounts had been specified better. I wasn’t able to get “a bag” of frozen chopped kale or “a bag” of butternut squash, so I had to use fresh and guess how much was needed. I ended up making a double batch and using two skillets to handle it all. Now we could feed an army! My husband liked it too, but unfortunately not my 2 1/2 year old. She protested against the kale, which touched everything so she wouldn’t eat it. If I make it again, I will set aside some of the squash and sausage mixture for her before the kale gets added. I think she would eat it then. I will probably make this again.

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