I felt like I was standing in the middle of an episode of Chopped at the moment Ted Allen tells everyone to open their baskets to reveal today’s secret ingredients and my stomach turned into a knot. What in the hell am I going to make with this stuff? What was I thinking when I was at the store shopping today? You know how “they” say you shouldn’t go to the grocery store on an empty stomach, because you’ll buy everything you see? There are days when I shouldn’t go to the grocery store period – hungry or not.
Today, I wandered around the place like a zombie and picked up things that I thought would be good. Good, as in delicious, not necessarily good together as tonight’s dinner. Ugh, I hate when I do this. And yes, I do this at least once a month. When all was said and done, I had some fresh pork sausage, a sugar pie pumpkin and some apples that were unassigned to specific dishes that I had been shopping for.
Scouting through my cupboards I found a few more things that I thought would play well together, like whole wheat pasta, onions, and sage. I decided that I would make a brown butter sauce to pour over the top of all of these things and that would tie all these flavors together. Oh, and in full disclosure, I should admit that the fresh sage in the brown butter sauce comes from my garden.
So I set off to peel, chop and roast the pumpkin…de-case (is that a word?) the sausage and fry it up and peel and chop an onion and apple. The kitchen smelled fantastic, and then I made the brown butter sauce. Words can not describe the nutty aroma wafting around the kitchen. I knew right then that I had come up with the perfect sauce to tie everything together. The kitchen already smelled like dinner was going to taste. I love when that happens. Because when Craig finally drags himself through the door and smells what he’s having for dinner, we sit down to eat much faster. No dilly dallying!
Men and women are complex creatures. Yes, we do acknowledge that men are complex – we just don’t say it out loud. What we’re all searching for is to be treated with respect, to be understood and to be loved. There may be times when the two of you just don’t seem to play well together (incompatible) but if that’s something that only occasionally happens it’s just a matter of finding that thing that ties you together – adapting to one another. Take the time to show your significant other that you care by taking the time to really learn about him/her, to listen, to love and to adapt.
Serves 4 – 6
- 1 Pound Whole Wheat Spaghetti
- 1 2-3 Pound Sugar Pie Pumpkin or Butternut Squash (peeled, seeded and diced)
- 2-3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
- 1/2 Pound Fresh Sweet or Spicy Pork Sausage (casings removed)
- 1 Medium White Onion (diced)
- 1 Medium Apple (Fuji or Gala) Diced
- 1/2 Cup Butter
- 1 Tablespoon Fresh Sage (finely chopped)
- Kosher Salt
- Coarse Ground Black Pepper
Preheat Oven to 450 degrees Farenheit.
Place diced pumpkin (or butternut squash) on baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil (make sure all sides are evenly coated with oil) and sprinkle with kosher salt. Bake in oven for approximately 1 hour. Turn pieces every 20 minutes or so to evenly brown edges. Baking time will vary depending on the size of the pieces. When done, edges should be browned but pieces should be somewhat soft to the touch. When done, remove from oven.
Cook and drain pasta according to package directions.
In a skillet, crumble sausage and cook over medium high heat. When cooked through, remove sausage to a plate. Leave the drippings in the pan.
Add chopped onion to the pan with rendered fat from the sausage. Over medium heat, cook onions until translucent (approx. 10 minutes). Once the onions are translucent add the chopped apple to the pan and continue to stir over medium heat until apples are heated through.
Place butter into another skillet and heat over medium heat. Swirl pan to keep milk solids from burning. You will keep swirling the butter over the heat until it turns a caramel brown and smells nutty. Once it turns brown, add the chopped sage and swirl to combine.
Add pasta back into saucepan that it was cooked in. Then add the sausage, roasted pumpkin (or squash), onions and apples. Finally, pour the sage brown butter sauce over all contents and stir with tongs to combine.
Salt and pepper as desired.