Savory Fall Stew
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 12 ounces hot Italian sausage, cut into small chunks
- 12 cipollini onions (pearl onions can be substituted), peeled
- 1 1/2 cups crushed tomatoes
- 3 cups homemade or low-sodium chicken stock, skimmed of fat
- One 1/2-ounce bundle of fresh herbs, such as rosemary, thyme, or oregano
- One 2 1/2-pound butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch chunks
- 3 carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 3 parsnips, peeled and cut into 2-inch-long sticks
- 1 fennel bulb, trimmed and cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
- 12 brussels sprouts, trimmed and cut in half
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add sausage, and cook, stirring until it breaks into small pieces and is no longer pink, about 10 minutes. Remove sausage with slotted spoon, and set aside.
Pour off all but 2 tablespoons rendered fat, and discard. Raise heat to medium high, add onions, and cook, stirring, until golden, 5 to 6 minutes. Add tomatoes, stock, and herbs; simmer over medium heat until liquid starts to thicken, 20 to 25 minutes. Add sausage, squash, carrots, parsnips, and fennel; cover, and simmer until vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes. Add brussels sprouts, and cook, covered, about 5 minutes more. Remove cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, until liquid thickens, 10 to 15 minutes more. Season with salt and pepper, and serve.