This could go either way…

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Jamie Oliver, once known in his infancy as the Naked Chef, continues to contribute to the culinary scene both in the US and the UK where his home base is. I love to watch him in his garden kitchen, hard by his wood burning oven. It’s a perfect setting in that you can sweep scraps on the floor and not worry about making a mess.

Anyway, he had this recipe on YouTube that I watched a while ago and thought it would be a good meal for this past weekend when the temps on Saturday night were ridiculously low and the wind was howling.

Start by chunking up a butternut squash and (gasp) leave the peel on the squash. One inch chunks will do. Roughly chop a red onion and a long chili pepper of your choice. Put in a dry roasting pan on medium heat and move stuff around adding about 2 tsp of smoked paprika. Once the ingredients are hot, add 2 cloves of sliced garlic and about 2 tbsp of oil. Keep stirring….Then place in a 350° oven for about 45 minutes, until the squash is pretty soft. Leave the oven on.

Add one can each of cannelloni beans and garbanzo beans and 28 oz can of tomatoes. IF you are vegetarian you can stop here. Just stir everything up and put back in oven for about 45 minutes. Season to taste. Serve over sautéed greens like kale, mustard greens etc. Something hearty. Full Stop. BUT….

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But, if you are a carnivore, get your self some really good sausage with two different flavor profiles ( I used fresh kielbasa, and hot Italian turkey sausage). Form them into a rack by curling or laying them next to each other and then skewering them with wooden skewers soaked in water. You can also use long spears of rosemary with the leaves stripped as Jamie suggests.

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Sprinkle the top with some fresh nutmeg and tuck in some sage, rosemary and any other herbs you like and place on a bacon/baking rack that fits over your roasting pan. Don’t cover the pan, place the rack instead. Put back in the 350 ° oven. What will happen is that as the sausage cooks, the drippings will flavor the ragu in the pan. Forty five minutes should be plenty of time. The sausage will get nice and roasty looking.

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Meanwhile, back at the stove top, you can chop, rinse and saute some hearty greens like kale or swiss chard ( shown) as a base for the ragu.

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And yes, that was a lot of sausage for 2 peeps, but once cooked it can be frozen and used in a variety of ways. A perfect dinner for a cold winter nite! In retrospect, the Hubs is not a fan of Swiss chard, so next time it will be spinach, and the squash not being peeled ensures that the squash will hold together, but it adds nothing to the taste of the dish. Your fiber requirement for the day however will be fine…


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