Archive | Pasta

Smoky Pasta with Kale and Sausage


Smoky Kale and Sausage Pasta

A little bit of food prep goes a long way, especially on days when you have to throw dinner together quickly.

One of the things I like to stock in the freezer is cooked bulk sausage.  I purchase 3-5 pounds at a time from a local farmer (a delicious sage sausage-but you could do the same with sweet or spicy Italian sausage links after removing the casings), brown it, and freeze it in a large container.  It’s ready to add to pizza, sauces, or a weekend egg scramble.  This pasta dish gets its rich flavor from smoked paprika and beer.  I use slow roasted tomatoes (another staple I prepare during tomato season and keep in the freezer), but you can also use jarred sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil.

Smoky Pasta with Kale and Sausage


  • 3 sausages, casings removed and crumbled
  • 3 cloves of crushed garlic
  • 12 sundried tomatoes (packed in oil in a jar), sliced
  • 1/4 cup dark beer
  • 1 sprig of fresh rosemary, chopped (or 1 tsp dried)
  • 1 fresh sage leaf, chopped (or 1/2 tsp dried)
  • 1 pinch crushed red pepper
  • 1 pinch red cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 6 cups shredded kale or spinach
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 pound pasta (Yikes! I can't remember the name of the pasta I used in these photos, but choose a shape that will stand up to some skillet cooking such as orechiette or bow tie)
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup fresh parmesan cheese, plus more for topping

In a large saute pan, heat 1 Tbsp of the oil from the jarred tomatoes. Add the sausage and brown completely. Add the tomatoes and garlic and sauté another minute. Pour the beer into the pan and scrape up any brown bits on the bottom of the pan (deglazing). Add the fresh herbs and spices and simmer one minute.

Add the kale and toss gently until just wilted. Add the cream and simmer for another 4-5 minutes to thicken and meld the flavors.

While this is simmering, cook pasta in a boiling pot of salted water according to package directions until al dente. Use a large slotted spoon to transfer the pasta to the sauté pan (don't worry about draining it well). If you need to thin the sauce a bit, add more of the pasta cooking water in small amounts until sauce is desired consistency.

Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice and parmesan cheese. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Top with more parmesan for serving.

Smoky Kale and Sausage Pasta


Roasted Butternut Squash with Udon Noodles + Vote for Fiercely Fresh for best food blog in the Baltimore Mobbies!


butternut squash

I reach a point every late fall when I’m done with green salads.  The though of eating chopped, fresh vegetables loses it’s appeal in favor of more hearty fare.  Roasted vegetables, sautéed grain salads, and pumpkin-flavored somethings…this is the stuff of colder weather.  Butternut squash and tahini are a match best made in autumn, proven by the fact that this is my third post including both!

If you want to the know what Udon noodles are (and the difference between all types of noodles frequently in Asian cooking, check out the Kitchn’s post here).  Also, check out their instructional post on how to peel and cut up a butternut squash.  Don’t forget to save those seeds for toasting!

On a sidenote, Fiercely Fresh has been nominated for a Baltimore Sun Mobbie in the best food blog category!  If you could kindly take a moment to vote, I’d sure appreciate it.


vote for my blog in the mobbies early and often


Toasted squash seeds:

Place the seeds in a shallow bowl and cover with water.  Swirl the water around gently with your hand, breaking up clumps and taking out any membrane pieces that separate off.  Do this until you’ve removed most of the pulpy pieces.  Drain the seeds in a fine mesh colander picking out any leftover pulp and place on a paper towel to dry.

When you’re finished roasting the squash for this recipe, remove the squash to a plate with a spatula but don’t throw away the parchment paper.  Spread the seeds in a single layer on the paper.  Spray with cooking spray (olive oil, coconut oil, or any other type).  Place in oven and toast for about 8-10 minutes or until they start to turn golden brown and one or two of them pop.  Give the baking sheet a shake about halfway through toasting if you think of it.  Remove immediately to a plate.



Roasted Butternut Squash with Udon Noodles


  • 3 cups butternut squash, peeled and cubed
  • 4 ounces Udon noodles
  • Dressing:
  • 1/4 cup cilantro leaves
  • 3 Tbsp mirin (or soy sauce)
  • 2 Tbsp tahini
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 1-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled
  • 1 clove garlic
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Toss squash in a bowl with 1-2 Tbsp olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and spread on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake until tender, about 25 minutes. Remove to plate and toast squash seeds, if desired.
  • Over medium high heat, bring a large pot of water to a bowl and cook Udon noodles according to package directions. Drain noodles and rinse with warm water.
  • Combine dressing ingredients in a blender or food processor and pulse until well combined.
  • Place noodles and squash in a large bowl. Add dressing to the bowl and toss to combine.
  • Top each serving with additional chopped cilantro and toasted squash seeds.

butternut squash




Peanut Noodle Bowl with Broccolini

noodle bowl

If summers were made for spending the waning sunny evening hours eating dinner on the deck, then winters around our house are definitely for eating a meal in a bowl in front of the television watching (what else?!) hockey.  When the weather turns cold and the days are short, our family thrives on soups, stews, chili, grain and vegetable sautés, and dishes such as this.  It’s both hearty and light at the same time.  Leftover noodles are delicious cold in a packed lunch. Continue Reading →


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