- 2 pounds good-quality fresh Italian sweet sausage, casings removed
- A fat handful sage--2 tbsp. finely chopped, 2 tbsp. coarsely chopped
- 1 teaspoon fennel seed
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves or ground allspice
- Coarsely ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 1/2 pounds butternut, cheese or red kuri squash--peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, sliced
- 1 small fresh Fresno or red jalapeno chile pepper, finely chopped, or 1 tsp. crushed red pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1/2 cup chicken stock
In a medium bowl, mix the sausage, finely chopped sage, fennel seed, cloves and lots of coarsely ground black pepper.
In a Dutch oven or a large skillet with a lid, heat the olive oil, two turns of the pan, over medium-high. Add the sausage mixture and cook, breaking into large pieces with the back of a spoon, until browned, about 6 minutes.
Add the squash, onion, garlic, chile, nutmeg and coarsely chopped sage; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables begin to soften, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the stock and cover. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the squash is tender, 18 to 20 minutes.