Rigatoni with squash, collard greens and italian sausage

You should eat this, it’s digdang delicious!
You need:
1 medium-ish butternut squash
1 bunch collard greens
1 pound bulk spicy italian sausage
1 orange
1 tbl sesame oil
1 pound rigatoni
parmesan cheese
Early in the day, like say 4 or 5 hours before you want to eat, take that butternut squash and stab it all over like you’re a crazy clown faced squash killer and pop it into the microwave for 8 minutes. Then just leave it alone. It’s a proven fact that the insides of squashes need only 1/3 more hydrogen atoms to become as hot as the sun once they are microwaved. Leave the damned squash alone for a few hours.
…Later in the day when your squash has cooled to manageable temperatures…
De-rib your collards and tear them up into bite sized pieces, rinse well and set aside.
Zest the hell out of that orange, then cut it open and squeeze all the juice out and mix it with the zest and then add the sesame oil. Set aside.
Grab that squash and slice it open, dig them seeds out from its belly. You will notice that the squash is not evenly cooked. The part around the bulb is cooked pretty well, but the rest of it is not quite done. This is exactly what you want (so, if your squash is somehow perfectly cooked all the way through you should 1. weep in shame and 2. contact NASA and offer to sell them the craziest microwave from Planet Awesome). Peel and chunk that squash up. Some of it will mush and the rest will become, I don’t know, thumb sized chunks (your thumb, not mine, my thumb is midgety and weird).
Put on some water to boil for your rigatoni, add when boiling.
While your noodles boil fry up your sausage over pretty high heat. Once the sausage is cooked through add your squash, toss it a bit with the sausage, add about 1/4 cup of water, cover and turn the heat down to medium low (this would also be an awesome time to add, say, a chopped up apple or pear or walnuts or all of those things).
2 minutes before your rigatoni is done toss the collard greens into the pot with the noodles and stir. When the noodles are ready, reserve one cup of the noodle water and strain the rest out. Give it a goodly shake and unceremoniously dump it into the sausage/squash mix. Turn turn toss toss, the overcooked squash with start coating things up (add a bit of the reserved water to loosen things up if things get too sticky) and the rest of the squash stays in delicious chunk form. Whisk your orange zest/juice/sesame oil together and drizzle over the pasta and give it another goodly toss.
Serve with some parmesan.

One thought on “Rigatoni with squash, collard greens and italian sausage

  1. This sounds a lot like the way Mollie Katzen used to write the Moosewood cookbooks–full of whimsey and good solid info on what’s going on. Sounds delicious–I think I will make it with the rainbow chard that’s been around here lately. Yum!

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