Pasta with Butternut Sauce, Spicy Sausage and Baby Spinach

Other than pumpkin, I think butternut squash may be my favorite type of squash. But for some reason I only think to cook with it during the winter and the same with pumpkin during the fall. To solve this problem, I decided to buy more butternut squash than I needed for this recipe, and saved the remaining peeled and cubed pieces in my freezer. Muwahaha! Now to just remember it is there to use later. That may be the bigger problem because if you saw how stuffed my freezer was year-round, you’d understand. “How long has that homemade ice cream been in here?? And what flavor is it? ::sniff::” Seriously happened. Also discovered frozen boxes of Girl Scout cookies the other day. How do you forget about those? Oh yea, they were blocked by the 10 packages of butter I stocked up on when it went on sale. Serious food blogger problems in my fridge.

But I digress, let’s focus on unfrozen food such as this pasta. The butternut squash is pureed to function as the sauce itself, and what a fantastic idea! It’s complimented very nicely with the spicy sausage and the winter-ific sage. And don’t forget the spinach to finish off this healthy meal. But I decided to curb that a little by serving it with pull apart garlic bread. Mmm garlicky carbs.

And a Happy Birthday shout-out to my big brother!! Happy 33rd!

Pasta with Butternut Sauce

One year ago: Blizzard Oreo Stuffed Chocolate Cookies

Two years ago: Buttermilk Pancakes

PASTA WITH BUTTERNUT SAUCE, SPICY SAUSAGE AND BABY SPINACH

Serves 5

Ingredients:

1 lb. butternut squash, peeled and diced

10 oz. pasta of your choice

11 oz. (4 links) spicy chicken Italian sausage

1 Tbsp butter

1/4 cup shallots, minced

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 cups baby spinach, roughly chopped

2 Tbsp fresh shaved Parmesan cheese

4 sage leaves, sliced thin

Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add butternut squash and cook until soft. Remove squash with a slotted spoon and place in a blender or food processor, blend until smooth.
  2. Add pasta to the boiling water and cook according to package directions for al dente, reserving at least 1 cup of the pasta water before draining.
  3. Meanwhile, in a large deep non-stick skillet, sauté sausage over medium heat until browned, breaking up with a spoon as it cooks. When cooked through, set aside on a plate.
  4. Reduce heat to medium-low and melt the butter, sauté the shallots and garlic until soft and golden, about 5 – 6 minutes. Add pureed butternut squash, season with with salt and fresh cracked pepper and add a little of the reserved pasta water (I used about 1 cup) to thin out the sauce to your liking. Add baby spinach and stir in Parmesan cheese and sage.
  5. Toss in cooked pasta and sausage and mix until well coated.
  6. Serve with additional Parmesan cheese on the side if desired.

Source: Gina’s Skinny Taste

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