Chef's Table: Merchants Pub & Plate

Enjoy a Comforting Autumn Dish and Cocktail from this Popular Gastropub

Penne with Local Squash and Sausage


8 ounces penne pasta

2 tablespoons olive oil

12 ounces raw pork sausage, casing removed

4 cups  peeled and diced butterkin or butternut squash (think Monopoly-dice size)

12 ounces heavy cream

4 ounces chicken stock

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 shallot, minced

2 tablespoons minced fresh sage

1/4 cup grated parmesan

salt and pepper, to taste

pinch of cinnamon


Heat your oven to 400 and toss your squash in a tablespoon of olive oil, salt and pepper and a pinch of cinnamon. Roast in the oven on a sheet tray until fork tender and set aside to cool.

Heat your salted pasta water to a rolling boil and drop in your pasta. Cook until al dente. Drain the pasta, toss with a splash of oil, and set aside.

In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Add the sausage and cook until the sausage is fully cooked. Remove sausage from the pan leaving the fat. Add your shallots and garlic and cook until soft and translucent, 3-4 minutes, then deglaze the pan with chicken stock. Scrape up those bits on the bottom!

Turn down your burner to medium-low and add the heavy cream, chopped sage and roasted squash. Bring this to a simmer and cook for 2-3 minutes until it starts to thicken. Add your cooked pasta and simmer in the sauce for a couple of minutes. Season with salt and pepper to your liking and BOOM you're done! Top it with the drunken cherries (recipe below) and serve.

Buy Local!

Squash: Sunflower Provisions or the Lawrence Farmer’s Market

Sausage: Leeway Butcher

Drunken Cherries


1 cup dried cherries

¼ cup   brandy or cognac

3 cups  red wine

½ cup   sugar or honey, whichever you prefer

1 tablespoon   orange zest

1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice


Place all ingredients together and simmer until the liquid is reduced almost completely out and the cherries are all jammy and awesome. You can use these on all kinds of things—a cocktail, on top of this pasta of course, on a turkey or ham sandwich. Have fun with it!

Tiger Beet Cocktail


2 ounces of good bourbon

1 ounce beet juice (Liquid Garden or press your own!)

1 ounce lemon juice

1 1/2 ounces simple syrup

1/4 ounce balsamic vinegar

1/2 ounce aquafaba or egg white


Shake all ingredients with ice. Strain into a martini glass or coupe.

Garnish with a lemon twist.

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