Secret: The butternut squash is the sauce. No, like it actually is the sauce. Like, there's no tomato sauce, and instead it's butternut squash. Does that mean it's healthier? I have no clue. But tasty? Oh my gourd, yes!
But, first things first (and I know I'm a little late)...WAY TO GO TEAM CANADA!
|This is what Canadians live for!|
*During a classic slip-out, you must tell no one that you are leaving, and 'slip out' of the room without saying goodbye, for fear of being told by anyone in the room that you are actually, in fact, not allowed to leave because leaving would be super lame.
Well, The Hubby and I loved it, and as a result butternut squash will now become a base for many future pasta sauces in our house. I always know that The Hubby thinks it is a good dinner when he blatantly tells me, "this is a good dinner," and then eagerly gets out the Tupperware to pack some up for his lunch at work the next day. That happened with this pasta dish.
Basically any pasta dish with Italian Sausage in it calls to me though. Speaking of which, I was just reminded of the Butternut Squash, Italian Sausage, and Sage Lasagne that I made last year at this time...the pictures don't do it much justice but, OMG, it was awesome.
One Year Ago: Butternut Squash and Italian Sausage Lasagne
Two Years Ago: Broccoli and Aged Cheddar Soup
Butternut Squash, Italian Sausage, and Spinach Pasta
Serves: 5 - 6
- 2 pounds (907 grams) butternut squash, cut into 1-inch cubes (Hint: buy the pre-cubed kind from Costco!)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 1/2 pounds (680 grams) Italian sausage, casings removed
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 2 tablespoons fresh chopped sage leaves (plus a little extra for garnish)
- 12 ounces (340 grams) bite-sized pasta, such as penne
- 4 ounces (113 grams) fresh baby spinach
- Freshly shaved parmesan cheese, for topping
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil. Put butternut squash into a medium sized bowl, drizzle with olive oil, and top with freshly ground pepper and salt, to taste. Toss the butternut squash with your hands until it is well coated. Pour the butternut squash onto the baking sheet and arrange into a single layer. Place the butternut squash into the oven and roast for 30 minutes or until fork tender.
While the butternut squash is roasting, place the Italian sausage and onion together into a large skillet and cook over medium-high heat. Cook, breaking the Italian sausage up into smaller pieces, until the onion is soft and the sausage is no longer pink, about ten minutes. Add garlic, dried thyme, and sage, and cook for another couple of minutes.
When the butternut squash is done, transfer to the empty pot that the pasta was cooking in before. Add 1 1/2 cups warm water. Using a hand blender (immersion blender), puree the butternut squash and water mixture until smooth and no lumps remain. Alternately, puree the squash and water in a blender, then return to the pot. Add the spinach to the butternut squash puree and stir until the spinach begins to wilt. Add the Italian sausage mixture and the pasta to the pot, and stir well to combine. Serve immediately. Enjoy!
Recipe Inspired By: Skinny Taste - Pasta with Butternut Sauce, Spicy Sausage and Baby Spinach