butternut squash & kale with brown butter fried sage

I might be turning into a broken record here... but I'm still going to say it. When I think about picking recipes to cook over the weekend, I think about what has the potential to taste good three days later. This absolutely limits what I end up cooking. Breaded chicken or fish? Sorry, that won't be crispy a few days later. But also... I had breading things. It is so messy.

I was flipping through some of my many magazines on Saturday morning and came across this recipe. I wish I could tell you which magazine it was from... and I'm only a little bit embarrassed that it might be "Every Day with Rachel Ray". But, I absolutely didn't pay for it. The subscription came as a gift with purchase from Wayfair. I feel like a lot of the recipes in this magazine are not very good for you. I'm not trying to be really healthy here but I'm also trying to not push my cholesterol through the roof.

This recipe was perfect. I spent the most amount of time cutting up my squash and watching New Girl episodes on Netflix. I spent the least amount of time measuring ingredients. By that I mean, I measured absolutely nothing... just like normal.
  • BUTTERNUT SQUASH // Cutting squash up can be the absolute worst part. It's relatively labor intensive and not easy. The grocery store will sell you some pre-cut product but at a surcharge... and it might not be as fresh. While I cut up the entire squash, I managed to put half of it in the freezer for future use (hello advance planning!). I tried two strategies for cutting the squash. One was microwaving it before peeling and cutting. This was highly unsuccessful. The second was cutting into approx 1 inch slices, then cutting off the edges and then dicing. Super easy.
  • KALE // Just you any healthy greens. Since my real favorite foods are pizza, pretzels and Cabot cheese, I am trying to squeeze healthy stuff in anywhere I can. Plus, just squash didn't seem as exciting. 
  • CHEESE // I'm not sure how to have pasta without cheese. The original recipe called for ricotta with lemon zest. I actually had all of these things but totally spaced and just grabbed some shaved parmesan. The ricotta would be nice and make it taste a little creamy versus salty. That's a reasonable comparison right?
(Step 1) Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add the pasta and cool until al dente.
(Step 2) While the pasta cooks.... move on to the next thing. In a large skillet, heat 2 Tbsp of butter until melted on medium-high heat. Add the squash and crushed red pepper. Cook, stirring every now and then until the squash is browned and just about tender. This will be about 12 minutes or so. My skillet was so full (of course) that I needed more time.

(Step 3) Transfer the squash to a plate or bowl. In the same skillet, add in the kale with a drizzle of olive oil. Let the kale (or spinach) wilt down as you normally would.

(Step 4) In the same skillet, add 2 Tbsp of butter until melted. Now this is when it gets just a touch tricky. At this point you are trying to brown the butter and then just before it is done, toss in the julienned sage so they sizzle and fry. This is a little bit of a science but also not too hard. As soon as you get that nutty smell and light brown color from the skillet, add the sage and swirl it around a few times off removed from the heat. Since the sage is cut so small, it should be quick enough. Note: the original recipe had you add the sage before the butter was actual browned and remove with a slotted spoon. This seems impossible to me. Slotted spoons are the worst and I feel like you are just go to stress out and get burned butter. Not browned butter.

(Step 5) Divide the pasta between plates. Top with the squash and kale and drizzle the browned butter sage over it all. And of course... add some shaved parmesan on top.

Shopping List (for two)
4 tbsp butter
1 lb butternut squash, peeled and cut into small cubes
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
10 large sage leaves
3 cups kale (or spinach)
shaved parmesan

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