From Green Right Now Reports
This is a hearty go-to dish for fall, when we’re looking to make things with squash and we’ve still got kale growing in the garden. It’s modified from the Eat More Kale website, which features a more beautiful picture of this casserole, but in its real meat manifestation.
Yes, Virginia, we not only vegetarianize it, we also veganize it. And there’s little sacrifice, because we do this by simply substituting savory Tofurky Italian sausage for the regular sausage. This not-bland Tofurky “meat” is available at a lot of stores these days, such as Sprouts and Whole Wallet.
Here’s what else we do to convert this recipe to vegetarian or vegan versions:
- Vegan: Instead of using cream, we make a mix of half almond milk and half No Chicken broth or another vegetable broth; instead of using cheese we mix in a half cup of nutritional yeast.
- Vegetarian: We use the mozarella and goat cheese called for in the original recipe.
Butternut Squash – 1 medium, in large diced pieces
Olive Oil – 1-2 Tbsps
Thyme — it’s nice if you can use about 1 Tbsp fresh leaves
Tofurky Italian sausage, sliced and lightly browned in olive oil
Fennel seed – 1 tsp
Kale – 1 large bunch, organic if you can
Garlic, 2 to 3 Tbsp chopped, either fresh or refridgerated
Rigatoni or spiral noodles, cooked just this side of al dente (they’ll bake too)
Sauce – 1 – 1.5 cups — Almond or soy milk or use half-and-half; Add 3/4 to 1 cup vegetable broth
Mozzarrella — 2 cups, shredded
Goat cheese – 1/2 up to crumble over top
Bread – 1 to 2 cups cubed (make your own by drying bread heels in an oven that’s been heated and turned off. The dried bread won’t cube, but will make bread shreds. Not afraid of oils? Toss the bread with a little olive oil to help it crisp in the casserole. The bread is optional.
So think of this recipe as an assemblage of ingredients to prep and then toss together.
1 — Toss the butternut squash cubes with olive oil. Salt and pepper and roast at 350 to 400 for about 20 minutes. Experiment with the timing. Some ovens cook hot and you’ll do better at the lower temperature. Toss with the time when done and set aside.
2 – Brown the sausage slices in olive oil. Set aside. Brown the garlic with the sausage or separately if desired.
3 – Boil the pasta as you normally would, but shorten the cooking time by 2-3 minutes. Drain and drizzle with a little olive oil if you’re worried about the pasta sticking.
4 – Wash the kale and cut it into palm sized pieces.
5 – Shred the cheese and/or measure out the nutritional yeast. (You can also use a cheese substitute for the mozzarrella; the dish will be drier if you cut out all the cheese.)
6 – Measure out the bread crumbs.
7 – Toss all dry ingredients together in a large casserole dish, reserving half of the cheese or half of the nutritional yeast. Pour the cream and/or the almond mix, pre-mixed with the broth, over the whole mess.
8 – Sprinkle either the cheese or the nutritional yeast over the top.
Bake for 25 minutes at 400.