Thursday, December 13, 2012

Butternut Squash Pasta Sauce

A few weeks ago we went to Tavern at the Park with my ILs for dinner.  The main reason we had been drawn to this restaurant was that SIL and I had spotted butternut squash ravioli on their menu.  All week we emailed back and forth with our excitement to try this delicious sounding dish; which turned out to be a huge disappoint.  The flavor was bland, the serving size was small and it just was not good.
When I saw Skinnytaste's butternut squash come up on my blogroll recently, I excited to try it and redeem my thoughts about squash and pasta. 
I want you to know, prior to this meal I have never ever cooked with butternut squash before or purchased one (it was located near the potatoes in the produce section).  Nonetheless, I was determined to try this recipe.  To be honest, I did have a make-up plan if it didn't turn out, which happened to be what Ben ate since Ben refuses to eat any vegetable besides a potato (which technically is not a vegetable). The back up (and Ben's meal) being plain ole marinara sauce with pasta and sausage. 
However, I didn't need it. This dish is fantastic and easily one of the favorite things I've ever made!
Butternut Squash Pasta Sauce (with spinach and sausage)

(Note, I adapted the recipe to make the sauce for just myself (with leftovers), so the pictures reflect that but the quantities listed below are to utilize the entire box of pasta; which makes approximately 5-6 servings)
  • 2 small butternut squash
  • 3 Italian sausage links (I used Jenny O's Spicy Italian Turkey Sausage)
  • 1 box pasta (I used 13oz of whole grain penne)
  • 1 small shallot
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic (You may want to use less if you're not a huge garlic fan; I love it)
  • 3-4 cups raw spinach
  • 1/2 teaspoon sage
  • 2 tablespoon fresh Parmesan cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste 

  • Boil a pot of water (large enough to hold all of your pasta)
  • Peel the squash and slice into small cubes

  • Add squash to boiling water and cook until soften (approximately 14 minutes)
  • While squash is cooking, in a large skillet over medium heat, place few teaspoon of olive oil in pan.  Remove sausage from casing and cook in pan
  • When squash is soften to the touch, keep your water boiling.  Remove squash from pot with with slotted spoon and place in blender
  • Using the boiling water from your squash, cook pasta to al dente per box instructions
  • Blend squash on high until all chunks are gone
  • Drain cooked sausage and set aside in bowl
  • Using the same skillet from your sausage, saute shallot and garlic together until cooked (approximately 4 minutes on medium heat)
  • Add in your squash and 1-1/4 cup of your boiling pasta/squash water to your shallot/garlic skillet and mix well.
  • In a small pot, boil 2 cups of water and steam spinach
  • Add sage and parmesan to skillet. Salt and pepper to your preferred taste
  • Once spinach is steamed; drain and mix in spinach and sausage to your skillet.
  • Mix in pasta and enjoy! 
Of course, a delicious meal like this requires a good glass of wine along with it. 


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