“I’m not a chef, I’m Italian”- David Rocco


Friday, October 26, 2012

Pumpkin Sausage Stew



Ciao!! I don’t know about you, but my favorite season is winter. I know it seems odd, since it can get very cold and snowy, but I just love it. I love what it signifies.  I think of Halloween, which is usually spent dressed up in front of the TV watching the parade, Charlie Brown and eating candy. Thanksgiving, spent at our wonderful friends house (which also means bake-athon, I’ll explain closer!!) and our annual Christmas Eve Party. When I think of winter, I think of happy times spent with the people that I love. And, ahem, the food.

It’s hard not to think about all the yummy food when the holidays roll around, right? Well, the other night in New York, it was really chilly out. And I don’t know about you, but on a chilly night, I need some serious comfort food. I need a big bowl of something warm and fragrant. And this Pumpkin Sausage Stew is just perfect.
The stew is filled with garlic, onions, pumpkin and hot Italian sausage. The contrast between the sweet, creamy pumpkin, rich and flavorful garlic and hot Italian sausage is just amazing. It’s a wonderful combination that will drive your taste buds wild!!

As I mentioned when I made my Pumpkin Gnocchi, I purchased a cheese pumpkin from Fresh Direct that was so big, I still have some of the puree in my freezer!! But that’s okay with me, I love eating as much pumpkin as I can when they’re in season. Plus, pumpkin is very healthy. It’s packed with antioxidants including alpha-carotene and beta-carotene, they’re high in fiber, low in calories and fat and they’re an excellent source of vitamins and minerals such as vitamin C and E, magnesium, potassium and iron. So if this doesn't convince you to eat a lot of pumpkin, I don’t know what will!! Let me know how you like it!!

Pumpkin Sausage Stew

3 tbsp. olive oil
 1 ½ pounds of Italian sausage links- hot or sweet, I prefer hot!
4 cups cubed pumpkin
5 cloves of garlic, minced
3 cups chicken stock
Black Pepper
Salt
Fresh thyme
2-3 fresh sage leaves
1 bag of pearl onions

Brown your sausage links in a large stew pot over low to medium heat. Brown on all sides for around 10 minutes. Remove and put on a plate. Toss pumpkin cubes with salt and pepper and lightly brown them for about 2-3 minutes, remove to another plate. Add chopped garlic, cook for 5 minutes, do not let it burn. Put your sausage back in the pot; add your stock, more black pepper, salt, thyme and sage leaves. Cover your pot. Place in your oven on 350 degrees for one hour. After an hour or so, add your browned pumpkin. Continue baking, after around 15 minutes, add your peeled onions. Cover and let cook for an additional 15 minutes (start checking after 10 minutes, everyone’s oven is slightly different.) When the vegetables are softened, remove the cover, let brown around 15 minutes, test for seasonings. I like to serve my stew over garlic mashed potatoes. Having a spoonful of the pumpkin, sausage and potatoes at the same time is just incredible. Buon Appetito!!