March 14, 2013

Butternut Squash Pasta with Sausage & Spinach

Tucson weather has been warming up the past few days, which is not a bad thing but I am SO not ready for it to be full on heated days. Thankfully we are supposed to get another cool down by the end of this weekend because 90F is just a tad too bit for my taste for it only being March. Hot temps outside equal warm house inside which equals to me not wanting to turn my oven on to bake, which is not good because I have a list of recipes that I didn't make yet!! I am going to have to go over my list and revise the ones I REALLY want to try out before Thanksgiving time.

I tried out a new recipe over the was one of the many recipes that I wrote down weeks or months ago and I have no clue where I got it from **note to self start writing down where or who I get recipes from**.......anyhow.....Have you ever had butternut squash pasta sauce?? DELISH!! I have bought butternut squash sauce (pre-made) and I have made it from scratch while in Culinary school but I never tried it with sausage or fresh spinach stirred into it. So when I saw this recipe I had to keep it to try. THANK-GOODNESS I did!! I loved it and have already bought another butternut squash to make it again in a few days. 

This recipe is also a fairly healthy recipe.....depending on what type of sausage you use and how much parmesan cheese you use.

1 lb spicy italian sausage (you could probably use regular italian sausage too but I like the spicy type)
1 lb butternut squash, peeled and diced**
1 TBS butter
1 lb pasta of choice
1/4 cup  shallots or small onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups fresh baby spinach, roughly chopped
2 TBS parmesan cheese
1/4 tsp dried crushed sage
salt & pepper, to taste

**microwaving your the whole squash for 1-2 minutes will make cutting and peeling easier**


Bring a large pot of salted water (a few dashes of salt is enough) to a boil. Add the peeled and chopped butternut squash and cook until soft. Remove squash with a slotted spoon, saving water for pasta. Put squash into a food processor or blender; pulse until smooth.

Bring the saved squash water back to a boil, add more water if needed and cook pasta al dente as directed on package. Reserve 1 cup of pasta water when draining noodles.
Meanwhile in a deep sided skillet sauté sausage until no longer pink, breaking it up into small chunks. Spoon cooked sausage onto a plate and set aside. Drain if you are wanting to save on calories, otherwise continue on with directions ;-)
In the same skillet add 1 TBS to skillet and sauté shallots/onions and garlic until soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in pureed butternut squash and a little bit of reserved pasta water until the sauce consistency is to your liking....I used just a little less then the reserved 1 cup of water. Add salt & pepper to taste. Stir in spinach, parmesan cheese, sausage and sage. 

Toss in pasta and mix to coat. 
Serve with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese, optional

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