This velvety, butternut squash sauce is nutritious with a taste of decadence. Enjoy this guilt-free, creamy sauce topped with a little sausage or substitute toasted pecans for a vegetarian meal. Roasting the squash in advance makes this a quick meal to throw together for family or friends. When I have a lot of butternut squash in my CSA share, I like to roast up several batches to freeze for later use. Simply follow step one below and scoop the inside flesh from the squash. Store squash in zip-top bags and freeze until ready for use. Defrost squash in the refrigerator the day before preparing this recipe and you’ll have a homemade meal with farm-fresh ingredients on your table in less than 15 minutes.
Ingredients: 1 large butternut squash, halved lengthwise and seeded 2 teaspoons butter 8 ounces any short whole grain pasta noodle, cooked according to package directions 1 tablespoon olive oil 2 cloves garlic, minced 1 cup skim or low-fat milk ½ teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg ½ teaspoon salt ¼ teaspoon white pepper ½ pound mild ground sausage Fresh grated Parmesan cheese for serving
Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. On a medium baking sheet, place squash halves flesh side up. Place 1 teaspoon of butter in the hollow of each squash. Roast until flesh is tender, about 50 to 60 minutes. Set aside until cool enough to touch. This step can be done several hours earlier or the day before.
Scoop inside flesh of squash from skin and place in a food processor or blender. Heat olive oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic and sauté for about a minute, until fragrant, and combine with squash.
Add milk to food processor or blender and puree to create a smooth and creamy consistency. Pour butternut squash sauce into a medium sauce pan and warm over medium heat, stirring occasionally and careful not to boil. Season with nutmeg, salt and pepper. Reduce heat to low to keep warm until ready to serve.
Meanwhile, cook the sausage in a medium skillet over medium-high heat until browned and crumbly, about 5 to 7 minutes. Drain the fat and set aside.
Divide pasta on four plates and cover with equal amounts of sauce. Top with sausage and Parmesan cheese.
Fall is in the air and on my plate! Fresh picked apples bring the taste of the season to this grilled pizza. For a vegetarian version, simply omit the sausage and top with toasted pecans or walnuts for a crunchy protein after removing from the grill.
If there are pick-your-own apple orchards near your home, I recommend stopping by for fresh, local apples. Visiting orchards and farms are great ways to educate the children in your life about where our food comes from, and this recipe is a kid-friendly one that you could make together after harvesting your produce.
Ingredients: ½ pound ground sausage 1 small onion, peeled and chopped 1 medium apple, cored and diced 1 bunch spinach, trimmed and chopped (about 4 cups) ¼ teaspoon salt ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper 1 homemade or store bought pizza dough ball (about the size of a grapefruit) 2 tablespoons cornmeal ¾ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
Warm a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add sausage and cook until browned and no longer pink. Drain fat from skillet and return to the stove. Add onion and apple to the sausage and cook until tender and lightly browned. Add spinach and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until wilted. Season with salt and pepper, remove from heat and set aside.
Roll and stretch pizza dough to a thin layer, about ⅛ inch thick and 12 to 14 inches in diameter.
Prepare the grill for medium-high, indirect heat. For a gas grill, leave one or two burners off and for a charcoal grill, place coals on one side and use the coal free side.
Place crust on the grill (a pizza peel comes handy here) and cook for about five minutes, until top of crust starts to bubble and light brown grill marks appear on the bottom.
Remove crust from grill. Top cooked side of crust with sausage, apple and spinach mixture. Add shredded mozzarella evenly over pizza toppings.
Return pizza to the grill and cook for about five minutes, until cheese has melted and bottom of crust has light brown grill marks. Remove from grill, slice into 8 wedges and serve.
Note: When I make homemade pizza crust, I often double the recipe and freeze to have on hand for fast weeknight meals like this one.
Lasagna and eggplant parmesan are two of my favorite Italian dishes and this meal is the perfect blend of both. Ready in just a little over 30 minutes, it’s a fast take on lasagna that’s perfect for a busy weeknight meal. It’s excellent made with homemade marinara using farm-fresh tomatoes.
If you’re struggling with recipes that please the carb lovers and low-carb people in your life, this recipe is perfect for both. You can easily prepare whole wheat spaghetti or garlic bread on the side and give your dinner guests options.
Ingredients: 2 large eggplant, trimmed and cut lengthwise into ¼ inch slices 2 tablespoons olive oil ½ teaspoon salt ½ teaspoon black pepper 4 cups good-quality marinara, divided 1 pound mild ground sausage 15 ounces part-skim ricotta cheese 1 tablespoon dried basil 2 teaspoons fresh grated nutmeg ¼ cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese
Heat the broiler to high and arrange half of the eggplant in a single layer on a large baking sheet. Brush both sides of eggplant with half of the olive oil and sprinkle with half of the salt and pepper. Broil for 5 to 6 minutes, until lightly browned, flipping halfway through cook time. Set aside until cool enough to touch. Repeat process with remaining eggplant. Turn off the broiler and heat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
Cook the sausage in a medium skillet over medium-high heat until browned and crumbly, about 5 to 7 minutes. Drain grease from skillet and return to the stove top. Add 3 cups marinara to the sausage and stir to combine.
Spread 1 cup marinara in the bottom of a large rectangular baking dish. In a small bowl, combine the ricotta cheese, basil and nutmeg. Top each eggplant slice with about a tablespoon of ricotta filling and spread it out evenly. Roll up the eggplant, starting with the shorter end and arrange seam side down in the prepared baking dish.
Top eggplant rollups with sausage and marinara mixture and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Bake uncovered for 20 minutes, until the sauce is warm and bubbly.
Sometimes we need to know someone is on our side, cheering for us to achieve our goals or just make it through a challenging season. You can let your family know your are rooting for them with a pizza featuring root vegetables. Serve up this Root Vegetable & Sausage Grilled Pizza for your next family night and finish the evening with fire roasted s’mores or a movie and popcorn.
Ingredients: 1 medium turnip 1 medium rutabaga ¼ pound ground sausage, cooked 1 pizza crust 1 tablespoon olive oil 2 teaspoons fresh thyme, finely chopped Garlic and fine herb gurney cheese, crumbled Freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Peel and slice turnip and rutabaga. Steam the two root vegetables until tender.
Roll and stretch pizza dough to a thin layer, about ⅛ inch thick and 12 to 14 inches in diameter. Prepare the grill for medium-high, indirect heat. For a gas grill, leave one or two burners off and for a charcoal grill, place coals on one side and use the coal free side.
Place crust on the grill (a pizza peel is handy here) and cook for about five minutes, until top of crust starts to bubble and light brown grill marks appear on the bottom. Remove crust from the grill and place on a workable surface.
Brush cooked side of crust with olive oil. Top with turnip and rutabaga and season vegetables with thyme, salt and pepper. Add sausage and desired amount of cheeses.
Return pizza to the grill and continue cooking for about five minutes, until cheese has melted and light grill marks appear on the bottom of the crust. Remove from the grill, slice and serve.
Not your traditional muffin, this savory version is packed with mashed sweet potatoes, hearty oats and maple breakfast sausage. Enjoy these warm muffins with a cup of coffee or hot tea to fuel up on a chilly winter morning. Getting an early start to your day? Pair a muffin with a boiled egg for a packable, on-the-go breakfast. Store leftovers in the refrigerator or freeze for up to three months and reheat when ready to serve.
Ingredients: 1¼ cups whole wheat flour 1¼ cups all-purpose flour 1 cup rolled oats 2 teaspoons baking powder 1 teaspoon mustard powder ½ teaspoon salt ¼ teaspoon white pepper 1½ cups mashed sweet potatoes 2 large eggs ½ cup milk 1 tablespoon maple syrup ½ pound maple breakfast sausage, cooked and drained
Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly grease or line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flours, oats, baking powder, mustard, salt and pepper.
In a large bowl, whisk together mashed sweet potatoes, eggs, milk and maple syrup. Gradually add dry ingredients to the bowl of sweet potato mixture, stirring to combine. Fold in sausage.
Fill muffin cups and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until golden brown.