It seems like I’m forever talking about the weather on my posts, but doesn’t it make such a difference when the weather is “just right”? What exactly do I mean by “just right”? Well, here’s my version of “just right”. Cool mornings, warm and sunny afternoons, beautiful evenings and nippy nights. It seems like we’ve had a lot of that lately in our neck of the woods. However, the down side? The Fall hasn’t been as magnificent as in past years, that’s probably because we’re almost at the end of October, and we’re still experiencing summer temperatures. But soon that will all change I’m sure.
I’ve been a bit sporadic with my blogposts because of some health issues – I have not been as fired up about posting weekly or even visiting other blogs, or responding to comments on my blogposts simply because I haven’t had the inclination nor the drive to do so. Still, in time I hope I’ll get back on track. My sincere apologies blogger buddies. In the meantime however, I’ve been taking a lot of pictures and posting on Instagram. I’m enjoying Instagram at the moment, it’s a bit more casual and relaxed and I’ve just discovered “Stories” on Instagram, which I’m having fun exploring.
Today, I’m bringing you a wonderful Fall dish with a decadent creaminess from the squash, a spiciness from the sausage and some greens from the spinach and sage. This pasta dish was comforting and hearty, and with a glass of red wine, it all washed down so smoothly.
I love all the squashes and pumpkins that surface around this time, don’t you? Sometimes I tend to overlook the Butternut squash just because it takes a while to clean. Also, it’s not very often that you find them all chopped up and cleaned except around Thanksgiving and Christmas. But it’s not as hard with a little extra care and patience. I usually top and tail the squash (in other words cut the top and the bottom) so that it will be easier to cut it down lengthwise without any injuries. It makes the squash sturdier on the cutting board. I used a large knife to cut it in half length-wise. Then I scooped out the seeds and used a peeler to take off the tough skin. You can then boil, microwave or roast it. You can also make this a vegetarian dish by omitting the sausage. The ingredients for this recipe will serve 5.
Pasta with butternut squash sauce, spicy sausage, baby spinach and sage
- 11 oz (4 links) spicy chicken Italian sausage
- 1 lb butternut squash, peeled and diced
- 1 tbsp whipped butter
- red pepper flakes (optional)
- 10 oz pasta, wheat or gluten-free
- 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
- kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Clean butternut squash and cut into cubes. Add to the water and cook until soft. Using a slotted spoon, place in a blender, or mash with a masher or fork till smooth.
- 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.
- Meanwhile, in a large deep non-stick skillet, sauté sausage over medium heat until browned, breaking up with a fork as it cooks. Add red pepper flakes. When cooked through, set aside on a plate.
- 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 salt and fresh cracked pepper and add a little of the reserved pasta water (about one cup) to thin out the sauce if you wish.
- Add baby spinach and stir in parmesan cheese and sage. Toss in cooked pasta and sausage and mix well until coated.
- Serve with additional parmesan cheese on the side if preferred.
Be on the lookout for another squash that I will introduce you to pretty soon.
Recipe source: Skinnytaste.com