Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Late Summer Fusilli with Sautéed Squash and Chicken Sausage

This dish is a nice segue from summer to fall, incorporating late-summer vegetables into a meal hearty enough for a chilly evening. Chicken sausage keeps things more lo-cal than bacon or chorizo (both would be great, by the way), though we balance that out somewhat by adding some of the flavorful oil from the anchovies and sundried tomatoes.

Perhaps because the summer squash has such a firm texture with this cooking method, a bowlful of this pasta goes further than usual (one helping each is plenty for us, which is not typical). Leftovers will be great at room temperature the next day.

Late Summer Fusilli with Sautéed Squash and Chicken Sausage

Cooking Time
30 minutes


4 squash hoarders

Chef's knife and cutting board
Heavy-bottomed skillet
Pot to cook pasta

2 summer squash (1 green and 1 yellow), cut into a medium dice
Kosher or sea salt
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
3 chicken sausages (we used two roasted garlic sausages and one spicy jalapeño sausage from Trader Joe's), ~2.5 oz each, halved lengthwise and then cut crosswise into 1/2" pieces
1 small onion or 1/2 large onion, finely diced
1/2 tin anchovies, including oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1/3 cup olive oil-packed sundried tomatoes with 1 tablespoon of their oil (if using dried variety, soak in hot water until pliable, about 30 minutes, before chopping and add 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive in step 4), coarsely chopped
12 oz. fusilli
1 small handful basil, coarsely chopped (reserve a little for garnish)
Juice of half a lemon
Black pepper

1. Toss squash with 1 teaspoon salt. Transfer to colander to allow excess liquid to drain while you prepare the rest of the sauce.

2. Heat oil in skillet over medium heat. Add sausage and sauté until well browned, about 7 minutes.

3. Add onion, anchovies, and anchovy oil to skillet. Cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and translucent, about 6 minutes. Add garlic and red pepper flakes and sauté until aromatic, about 30 seconds. Add tomato paste and sauté until lightly caramelized, about 1 minute.

4. Add drained salted squash and sundried tomatoes and stir. Sauté until all ingredients are incorporated and squash is just beginning to soften, about 1 minute. Add a splash of water, stir to deglaze pan, and continue to cook until squash is just cooked (it should still have some bite to it) and liquid has thickened, about 3 minutes.

5. Meanwhile, cook pasta in boiling salted water until just shy of al dente, about 7 minutes. Drain, reserving a few tablespoons of pasta water.

6. Add pasta and reserved pasta water to sauce. Stir, reduce heat to medium low, and cook, stirring occasionally, until pasta has absorbed sauce and texture is al dente, about 1 minute. Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice and basil. Season with a little pepper, and then taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper as necessary. Serve immediately, garnished with reserved basil.

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