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.