Autumn in central Texas is really just an extension of summer only with shorter days and slightly cooler nights. Even though our Texas weather is not typical Fall weather compared to other parts of the country, it does brings thoughts of falling leaves, family gatherings, roasting marshmallows over a crackling fire and comfort food. Comfort food for me is any meal where my family is together planning, cooking and eating good food.
When I recently saw a recipe for butternut squash and sausage strata I thought “comfort food”. The combination of squash and Italian sausage seemed to be the perfect blend of sweet and savory. My mouth started to water as I began thinking about creating a side dish with a similar flavor profile but with fewer calories and less fat.
As I do almost every day of the week, I headed to the grocery store to gather some ingredients. I decided to spice up my recipe just a little bit by using spicy Italian sausage. I decided on Jennie-O Spicy Italian Turkey Sausage. I knew I wanted to use roasted butternut squash because roasting really brings out the sweetness of the squash. In my first attempt I used two links of the sausage and ¼ cup of Panko for a topping, but decided the ratio of squash and sausage wasn’t right and it didn’t seem moist enough. In my final attempt I used one link of sausage and cut back on the Panko bread crumbs to just one tablespoon. This combination really let the squash be the star and had a better moisture level.
The end result turned out so good that I’m going to prepare this for my next family get-together.