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Butternut Squash, Sausage and Kale Risotto

I apologize in advance that I have been MIA lately. Things have been very busy over at the The Hicks House. But not to worry, we’ve gotten a few things done that I will be filling you in on shortly. But first a recipe! 🙂

I am fully aware, that my recipes are the least popular section of this blog and for those of you who read this for house updates, maybe you should just come back next week mmmkay?

Anyhoo, this recipe is adapted from Mountain Mamma Cooks. I stumbled upon it on Pinterest and thought it sounded like the perfect fall meal, it was just missing something and that something was sausage. I also did not use barley, as I’ve never cooked with that before and had regular arborio risotto on hand.

So without further ado… I give you butternut squash, sausage and kale risotto:
Butternut Squash, Sausage and Kale Risotto | Hicks House

This dish embodies the flavors of fall. It is a bit more labor intensive than I generally like I’m a lazy simplistic cook, but the idea of this meal made my mouth water, so I just made sure to make enough for two meals so neither of has to cook another day this week, score! And we get to eat this wonderful meal again, DOUBLE SCORE! (I may or may not have done a fist pump when I realized that… don’t judge)

Ingredients

  • 1 lb ground Italian sausage
  • 1 small butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes (I buy this pre-cut. If you’ve ever tried to cut butternut squash you understand why)
  • 4-5 tablespoons of olive oil (I didn’t measure this out – just eyeball it based on guestimates and your like/dislike of olive oil)
  • 1/4 cup of onion diced – I used about 1/3 of a large vidalia
  • 16oz of vegetable or chicken stock – keep on hand, I have ALWAYS used more than every recipe suggests
  • 1 cup risotto
  • 2 1/2 cups sliced kale, or kale mixture (I used a mix of baby kale, chard and baby spinach because that’s what I had)
  • 1/3 cup parmesean cheese
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup white wine

Butternut Squash, Sausage and Kale Risotto | Hicks House
Directions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place the butternut squash a large bowl and toss with about 2 tablespoons of olive oil till evenly coated, and season with salt and pepper. Spread on a foil lined cookie sheet and place in the pre-heated oven for 30 minutes, turn pan or flip squash occasionally (I did this once at about 20 minutes.)

Butternut Squash, Sausage and Kale Risotto

Over medium heat, add 1-2 tablespoons of oil to a medium pot, once hot add onions and saute until they begin to become translucent. Add garlic and risotto and stir for about a minute, the risotto will start to look sort of “wet” from the oil.

Butternut Squash, Sausage and Kale Risotto | Hicks House

Add the white wine. Don’t waste the rest of the bottle – pour yourself a glass too… Reduce heat to medium/medium low. You want to keep it at a slow simmer, but not so hot that all the liquid burns off immediately. Stir regularly (I cannot stress this enough – it is the single most important step when making risotto). When the wine is mostly absorbed, add about a 1/2 cup broth and continue adding broth whenever it is just about absorbed. Many recipes I’ve read say to heat your broth when making risotto, I tried this the first time and found it more difficult to add in than pouring right from the box and didn’t notice a difference in the end result.

Butternut Squash, Sausage and Kale Risotto | Hicks House

About 15 minutes into your risotto, you can begin browning your sausage. If you’re a super multi-tasker like I am (wink wink) you can stir both at the same time – one with each hand.

Butternut Squash, Sausage and Kale Risotto | Hicks House

When the sausage is done, remove it from the heat. Start tasting your risotto about 25 minutes in, depending on how firm you like your risotto it could take any where from 25 – 35ish minutes. When it’s almost

to the consistency you like add your last round of broth and the sliced kale. Mix well, until wilted add the sausage and parmesean cheese and stir.

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Butternut Squash, Sausage and Kale Risotto | Hicks House
Butternut Squash, Sausage and Kate Risotto | Hicks House

My butternut squash timer went off about 15 minutes before I reached this step, but I didn’t think it was “done” enough so I left it in the oven. (I’m not sure you can over-roast squash). Once your squash is easily pierced with a fork it’s done.

Top your risotto with the squash or mix it all in together and curl up in your little pocket of fall heaven.

Butternut Squash, Sausage and Kale Risotto | Hicks House

Enjoy!
Hicks House

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Stuffed Zucchini Boats

Hicks House | Stuffed Zucchini Boats

Fall is in the air, the grill is on the outs and the oven is back as the main cooking star. These Stuffed Zucchini Boats combine the fresh summery taste of zucchini with the heartier flavors and texture of ground meat (with a little creamy cheese thrown in for good measure).

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb ground meat of your choice – I used bison, but have used turkey in the past, ground beef would the kitchen staple go-to for most kitchens.
  • 2 large zucchini
  • 2 oz of cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup chopped bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • chipotle seasoning
  • red pepper flakes
  • ground black pepper

Preheat your oven to 400. Cut the ends off your zucchinis, and cut in half lengthwise. Using a spoon carve out the middle section of the zucchini, reserving the fillings – this will go into your stuffing.
Stuffed Zucchini Boats | Hicks House

Place your boats on a foil lined cookies sheet and sprinkle with black pepper.
Stuffed Zucchini Boats | Hicks House

In a large skillet over medium heat saute your peppers, onions, garlic and zucchini centers. Season with chipotle, red pepper flakes and black pepper to your liking.

Stuffed Zucchini Boats | Hicks House

The zucchini gives off a lot of liquid, when the liquid is mostly gone add your ground meat and cook through ensuring all the liquid is cooked off. (We added more seasoning – we prefer a little kick :-))

Transfer your filling into a large bowl, add cream cheese and mix.

Stuffed Zucchini Boats | Hicks House

Spoon the stuffing mixture into your boats.

Stuffed Zucchini Boats

Place in your preheated oven for 30 minutes until the zucchini is cooked through. Serve and enjoy!

Stuffed Zucchini Boats | Hicks House