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Butternut Squash and Meatball Stew with Chunky Tomatoes and Cauliflower

Butternut Squash and Meatball Stew with Chunky Tomatoes

Butternut Squash and Meatball Stew with Chunky Tomatoes is the culinary equivalent of a big woolen sweater.

Butternut Squash and Meatball Stew with Chunky Tomatoes and Cauliflower

Print This Recipe Total time Yield 4Source Adapted from Cooking LightPublished
Butternut Squash and Meatball Stew with Chunky Tomatoes

Ingredients

  • 1 slice sandwich bread (crusts and all cut into tiny dice)
  • ⅓ cup whole milk
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • salt and black pepper (as needed for seasoning)
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 ounce pancetta (cut into tiny dice)
  • ½ teaspoon anise seeds
  • 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (or more to taste)
  • 2 cup 3/4‑inch diced butternut squash
  • ½ onion (½‑inch diced)
  • 3–4 clove garlic (peeled and chopped)
  • 1 (14½ oz) can beef broth
  • 3 Roma tomatos (cut into 1 ½‑inch chunks)
  • 1 cup smooth tomato sauce
  • 2 cup raw cauliflower florets (bite-sized)
  • grated Parmesan cheese (to taste)

Directions

Place diced bread in a bowl; pour milk over bread. Set aside for a couple of minutes.

In a medium bowl gently combine soaked bread with beef until well-distributed but not overworked, season generously with salt and pepper. Gently shape into 12 (1 ½‑inch) meatballs.

Heat a large Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed stew pot that has a lid over medium-high. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add meatballs in a single layer; cook, turning to brown on all sides, about 4 minutes. Transfer meatballs to a plate. Add diced pancetta, anise seeds, and crushed red pepper flakes to the hot pan and cook until the fat has rendered. Add squash, onion, and garlic to pan; cook, stirring occasionally, 3 minutes. Add stock, scraping the pan to loosen browned bits. Season to taste with salt and pepper; cook until liquid is reduced by half, about 6 minutes. Add tomatoes and tomato sauce; bring to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened, 6 to 8 minutes. Stir in cauliflower; cover and cook 3 minutes. Return meatballs to pan; cover and cook just until meatballs are cooked through 6 to 8 minutes.

Serve warm with Parmesan cheese.